Popularising camel milk is the focus now. It may not be the fabled fountain of youth, but camel milk may soon become the latest beauty secret
for those who want to look young. Researchers at the national research centre on Camel (NRCC) in the eastern Rajasthan district of Bikaner have developed an anti-wrinkle cream from camel milk.
Further camel milk is healthier than cow /goat milk and according to the research conducted at
the diabetes care and research centre, SP Medical college Bikaner, a litre of camel milk contains about 52 units of insulin. Drinking
camel milk could help in controlling diabetes, when it is in its first stage.
Camel milk soaps are already sold in the United States, where manufacturers claim that they are rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Bars are
sold for as much as $7 ( Rs 315) each. After camel milk face cream with its anti wrinkle properties, it is now the turn of camel milk ice-cream that has just been launched in
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has estimated that camel milk has a potential global market of $10 billion a year, with 200 million
potential customers in the Arab world, Africa, Europe and America.
Camel meat has been eaten for centuries. It has been recorded by ancient Greek
writers as an available dish in ancient Persia at banquets, usually roasted whole. The ancient Roman emperor Heliogabalus enjoyed camel's heel. Camel meat
is still eaten in certain regions including Somalia, where it is called Hilib geel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Kazakhstan and other arid regions where
alternative forms of protein may be limited or where camel meat has had a long cultural history.
Killing a camel for meat in India is a taboo, but there are many castes which eat camel meat on special
occasions. In India there is one rural community — the Raikas of Rajasthan, totally devoted to the welfare of the camels from time
immemorial. “They feel responsible for camel welfare and traditionally have never sold female camels”, explains
Koehler-Rollefson, a German veterinarian with the League of Pastoral People who has been researching the Raikas since the early 1990’s.
Camel Safari and fair
A success had been achieved by the Indian Tourism Department in popularising exotic camel safaris and camel rides in the Rajasthan desert.
The annual Pushkar Camel fair from November 13 to November 21, 2010, iwas the largest in the world. But
the camel traded in the Pushkar fair have reduced from 50,000 in 1999 to less than 20,000 in 2009.
Camel hide and hair in craft
The Rajasthan Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (RSIC) operates a camel hide
training centre at Bikaner to promote this languishing craft. Camel hide craft was originally done on screens
and on the walls of palaces. One of the principle characteristic of this craft is that the gold lacquer has a permanent effect and does not wither with the passage of time.
Bikaner city is the most famous for items stitched out of camel hide. Carpets made of camel wool, are good buys.
The late Hissamuddin Ustad of Bikaner, a master craftsman, who was awarded the Padmashree in 1986, was a legend in
this art. Long camel bones are in demand as cheap replacement of ivory.
The camel hair is being utilised for making carpets durries, bags, blankets,
wall-hangings by the farmers and also village level handicraft industry.