Sunday, July 15, 2007
water is the soul,camel milk is life
many months ago, i had read a newsitem about a 88 year old man from rajasthan who had just then fathered a child. virmaram jat attributed regular intake of camel's milk as one of the main reasons for his virility and longevity.almost immediately,demand for camel's milk shot up in and around his village.the word spread like wild fire throughout the state of rajasthan as it was considered to be an aphrodisiac. supply couldn't keep pace with demand and the price skyrocketed from rs 20/litre to rs 40/litre. virmaram's achievement was impressive.i contributed a short write-up on this subject in my wife's magazine for senior citizens and later forgot about it.till the other day,when i happened to read another article extolling the virtues of camel's milk.
in early 20th century,mahatma gandhi had recommended goat's milk to our countrymen for regular consumption.he consumed it quite frequently.but i don't think there were many takers.in rajasthan, which has the largest camel population in india,it seems camel milk is now becoming quite popular. the worldwide population of camels is about 19 million.camel population is highest in somalia where the camel to human ratio is 1.the indian camel population is only 0.66 million.i.e about 3.5% of world camel population.indian scientists are working on camel milk to turn into a skin care product.to lighten one's complexion and to even out wrinkles.the government run r&d organisation in rajasthan where the scientists are developing the wrinkle-free face cream has already successfully developed camel milk ice cream.
camel milk is believed to have more calcium,minerals and vitamins than cow's milk. a recent bbc report mentions how it has caught the imagination of the english people and that it is expected to fly off the supermarket shelves once retailing of camel's milk begins. the fao(food and agriculture organization) wing of the un has made exhaustive reports on its benefits, how the productivity of the milk yielding camels can be increased fourfold and how it could bring more prosperity to the camel owners.there are many humps no doubt in making camel milk products commercially viable.however,technologies are being developed to tackle these issues.at the end of the day, whether it will take off commercially is yet to be seen.
in the the middle east,camel milk drinking is quite common.it is considered to be the elixir of life.appropriate technologies,increased production and productivity and clever marketing can bring in prosperity to the poor people of these countries. as someone jokingly said,when the oilfields of saudi arabia go dry,camel milk will bring in the dollars.