Finally, Bullocks Can Take a Sigh of Relief
During sugarcane season, it’s common to see bullocks in Maharashtra panting and frothing at the mouth from straining to pull carts piled high with sugarcane. Their knees are swollen, and their necks and shoulders bear wounds that are a silent testimony to their daily toil under the yoke.
The bullocks forced to work on sugarcane farms are commonly denied proper food, fresh drinking water, sufficient rest and relief from the blazing-hot sun. They are yanked roughly by wires threaded through their pierced noses and are often beaten or whipped. Strands of barbed wire are sometimes put under the wooden yoke, and a thin piece of leather is attached to the whip to make it sting even more.
PETA’s friends at Animal Rahat, which offers relief for India’s working animals, are improving conditions for these bullocks. Animal Rahat’s groundbreaking new initiative, The Tractor Project, is a way to eliminate the use of bullocks completely and replace them with small tractors. Keeping in mind the limited financial resources of poor famers to buy a motorized vehicle to haul the cane, Animal Rahat made a donation toward the purchase of five new tractors for workers at the Kranti Sugar Factory. The factory then gave the employees an interest-free loan for the rest of the cost.
Recently, five bullock owners were presented with their new tractors, and their 10 old, worn-out bullocks were released from servitude in a touching ceremony at the factory. When the bullocks arrived at Animal Rahat’s Retired Bullock Home later that same day, caretakers removed their nose ropes and offered the relieved animals jaggery, a sweet treat that they love, to welcome them.
Kranti Sugar Factory along with the help of Animal Rahat is planning to distribute more tractors as they find the funds to do so. And Animal Rahat is preparing to expand The Tractor Project to other areas if possible and end the suffering of bullocks completely.
To contribute to Animal Rahat’s overall efforts – which fund new initiatives, including The Tractor Project – visit Animal Rahat’s fundraising page.