As awareness about nutritional benefits of this milk grows, many people are using it as an excellent remedy and beauty elixir
Mumbai: The docile and hardworking donkey is the forgotten equine, too often a subject of ridicule, and too often abandoned at the end of its working life. But few people are aware about the nutritional and health benefits of donkey’s milk. This milk protects humans from many biological infections and viruses. At the same time, manufacture of beauty products from donkey milk has started in the country.
Using donkey milk to treat many ailments
Two successful experiments have been done in Kerala and Maharashtra. In the Sahakar Nagar area near Padmavati Pytha, which is about 3 km from Swargate in Pune, Ramesh Jadhav has been using the milk like a medicine to treat many ailments for last 13 years. He explains that this is his ancestral work. This fetches him monthly income of Rs. 35 to 40,000.
Ayurvedic doctor Vasu refers many people to Jadhav for treatment using donkey milk. He explained that donkey milk is an excellent source of lysozymes, the key enzymes that boost body’s immunity.
Vasu said donkey milk cures many diseases like cold, cough, asthma, throat infection, TB, chronic fever and epilepsy. Dr. Vasu advises children with poor health to drink donkey milk. Ramesh Jadhav gives 100 milliliters of milk to such children.
Kochi resident makes beauty products from donkey milk
On the other hand AB Baby, a resident of Kochi, makes beauty products from donkey milk and sells them online. The annual turnover through sale of these products is over Rs 20 lakh. AB Baby claims that donkey milk cures skin allergies and enhances beauty.
In Solapur, Maharashtra, six students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are working on making beauty products from donkey milk.
Procures milk from 14 families to make beauty products
In 2017, a girl student Pooja Kaul, along with her colleagues, opened a dairy farm to sell donkey milk. But this milk gets spoiled very quickly, so she also started to make beauty products from the milk. She started procuring milk from 14 families in Tuljapur in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. These families earn between Rs 15 to 30,000 each month by selling milk. Right now, Pooja is selling beauty products of over Rs 28,000 every month.
Price of 20-30 ml milk is between Rs 50 and 100
Dr Ramesh Kumar, veterinary coordinator of the Donkey Sanctuary India, the largest non-government organisation working for the welfare of the donkeys and mules in the country, said there are about 1,86,209 male donkeys and 1,32,578 female donkeys in India. The highest, 36,744 donkeys are in Rajasthan, followed by 22,207 in Uttar Pradesh, 16,112 in Gujarat and 12,638 in Maharashtra. He said that the price of 20-30 ml milk is between Rs 50 and 100. The most expensive cheese in the world is made from the milk of donkey. A donkey gives 200-250 ml of milk a day. No available data for the total production of this milk in the country is available right now.