The trip to Jammu and Kashmir has taken me to many interesting and amazing places which I didn’t even know existed in the country. These places not only blew my mind but also left me awestruck. One such amazing place of wonder in the state was the Donkey Sanctuary located in the Leh district. I had seen rest houses and places of stay for pilgrims, religious gurus and monks, temples for God but never did I see a sanctuary dedicated specially for the Donkeys. This is only such kind of a sanctuary in the whole of Asia. I imagined that it will be bigger in size but it turned out to be much smaller.
The sanctuary was started by a journalist from South Africa called Joanne Lefson. It is said that she was very disheartened to see the plight of donkeys in the area in harsh living conditions. Every so called animal lover used to feel sad seeing their condition but nobody did anything for them. So Joanne along with her other friends started this sanctuary to improve the living conditions of donkeys in the area.
It was amazing and sad at the same time to visit such a place. Amazing that a sanctuary has been made dedicated to the animal which is neglected and taken as granted the most by human beings and sad that it took a South African to start this initiative in the our country. We have so many philanthropists here who could have done something of a similar nature here but perhaps they never considered it worth doing.
The sanctuary has a board which reads that it is a ‘Home for the Helpless Donkeys’. It is a place where donkey will find many new friends, and eat food and also get shelter from the severe winters of Ladakh. The sanctuary at a time can take care of only 30 donkeys and prefer pregnant and injured ones. This is really an applauding feat by the South African to dedicate his time and resources for the animals. Hope there are more animal lovers in the country who lead by examples like these and not just by rhetoric.