We don’t get to see many donkeys do we? On my trip to the south eastern corner of the country I did see many of them, well trained domestic animals for anyone to possess. One of them was standing on the middle of the road and how much ever honking we did, he did not have a plan to budge. Someone said that he was sun bathing. Well that was funny considering the unbeatable heat outside and he wore such a satisfying expression on his face. All I recollect about a donkey from all the hundred panchatantras I have read and the tell tale fables I have come across is that he is characterized as a lazy animal, dump and senseless . But seeing the animal closer and watching him for a while I could not agree with those conceptions I had built in, at the same time I hate to think our elders were wrong as they seldom are. But my donkey power is not about the surprise factor I have shared so far. It is about the quantum of work these animals put in. I should say they are a group of species who carry out such a lot of work which are never praised or applauded.
Donkeys, they execute such a laborious task of carrying things, be it with a ‘dhobi’ to wash clothes, be it with a wood cutter to carry wood, or assist a casual worker or a contract laborer to carry sand or cement and much more. Well, I too had this raised eye brow learning this, as I too believed all these works had been mechanized enough. But there are still places in the country were these animals are used and thankfully cared as well when used for such hectic work. I was baffled to know, these animals carry cement and sand 6 to 8 floors through the unfinished concrete stairs, eventually creating luxurious shopping malls and sky scrappers ( alright now that might be an exaggeration but what I meant is such huge buildings) in the new development hitting area waiting urbanization.
I read somewhere that each animal carries 30kgs of sand and such similar material along the unfinished stairways. But there is a relief factor considering the medical facilities available for these donkeys in case of emergencies and accidents, thanks to those animal lovers. Even donkey sanctuaries operate. One problem these animals face is that they bump into the one in front and it falls down injuring itself. I agree, a little brain would be of great help. Also over loaded donkeys have the bag strip cutting into their skin which is also taken care of by its owners and the medical officers. Poor soul, what a pain it would endure if the thin strip cuts in, yet these donkeys are totally dedicated to work, they never over react. People who domesticate and own such donkeys love these creatures so much and don’t bear any mockery which we laymen do out of our misconceptions. In domesticated animals, the donkey power is something that is highly applaudable and they are treated like part of the family.