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Every donkey has its day in Pakistan
Pakistan is in the news because of its large population of donkeys – third largest in the world. The donkey keepers vouch that rearing donkeys is indeed a profitable business in the animal world.

Of course, donkeys are synonyms of idiots, dullards and brainless persons. In the ad world a popular clip is that of a pair of camels rejecting bottles of water not being Bisleri with a comment – “we are camels Not donkeys.”

Donkey is the only animal that gains weight in summers despite lack of green grass and clean drinking water. While grazing on a piece of barren land, it looks back and finds the piece of land bereft of grass; feels happy that it has been grazing sumptuously not leaving even a blade of green grass intact. Braying with happiness unbound its happiness, notwithstanding lack of nourishment, makes the donkeys put on weight day after day. Its owner is also happy that donkeys’ health is better in summer than in rainy season or in winters when green grass is available in plenty. This kind of foolish animal has made news in Pakistan, especially in Lahore where its population is multiplying geometrically surpassing the rate of growth of human beings.

Tando Ghulam Ali is the place in Pakistan known for the largest fair on the tenth of Muharram where thousands of men, mind you, no women, gather to buy and sell donkeys. The fair lasts three days and thousands of donkeys are martialled for business. An ordinary donkey in mofussil towns may fetch a few hundred Pakistani rupees on being sold. In the Fair at Tando Ghulam Ali, a nice looking healthy donkey may fetch a price in Lakhs of Pakistani rupees. To cite an example, a donkey named TOOFAN, with its eye catching shape, size, health and happy mien fetched a million plus Pakistan rupees. To be precise, the amount touched 1.2 million Pakistani rupees when the last news came in. The seller was not prepared to accept even a rupee less than that; he got what he asked for.

The Tando Gulam Ali fair is famous for all kinds of donkey games organized with enthusiasm. Even donkey race draws applause and a lot of money changes hands on the winning donkey. The reliable sources give a first- hand account and say that the Tando Donkey Race may put to shame the horse race organized at Derby. Of course, one has to take this story with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless the Tando Donkey Race attracts attention of viewers who come from far and wide. The reportage, both for the print and the electronic media, may shame the copy writers who cover the horse race in England attended by the Queen and her Royal entourage.

The Tando Donkey Market has now gained official recognition and land for the Fair is specifically allotted by the District Administration. Taxes are levied too. Many stalls of food items both for Man and Animal spring up in large numbers during the Donkey Mela There are separate stall of accessories of donkey ride and race. Both the sellers and buyers do good business there.

A knowledgeable visitor to the Donkey Mela for many decades said that the population of donkeys in Pakistan is growing by leaps and bound (No pun intended). In England they say, Every Dog has its day. In Pakistan the saying now is: Every Donkey has its Day.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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