Camel plays very pivotal role in the sociocultural and socioeconomic life of its herders throughout the world. Pakistan is the home of almost one million camels belong to many diverse breeds. There are three main habitats of camel in the country, i.e. desert, plain lands and mountains. The camel in the above three ecosystems are very diversify from each-other and among themselves in the same habitat. This difference makes a beautiful biodiversity of camel in the country and making more than 16 breeds of camel. Pakistan is rich with camel culture and every tribe of camel keepers know all the attributes of their type of camel. At the end of their camel year, they celebrate camel mela or fair in many parts of the country. Such melas are the best place where the camel herders meet and share their experiences and situation. Thousands of camel are bring and these melas are use as a unique and major market place for camel business. Such fairs are mostly link with some spiritual or religious rituals and the camel herders link camel with spirituality.
Here below are the names of the famous melas of the country. Most of them are held in the months of October, November and December.
The most important camel events at country level in Pakistan are;
- Anayat Shah
- Karorr Pakka
- Sakhi Sarwar
- Shah Jamal
- Odaro lal
- Jalsa (DG Khan)
- Sibbi Mela
- Chnan peer (Cholistan)
- and Thandla
These events provide a noble chance for camel stake holders to meet and enjoy different events like folk music, camel dance, racing and camel fighting etc. The same events are the key business points of camel.
The government support is very limited in these cultural events. There is always lack of facilities, especially water sources are very scarce.
Also, some people bring camels with some epidemic disease which causes havoc losses.
Being the organizer of Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP), I hereby appeal government to please take interest and help the camel herders and pastoralists. Also, these events can be good sources of revenue generation if tourists are attracted.