Move aside, kittens, puppies, and tiny bunny rabbit in a top hat. The brand-new mascot of cheer is here — the donkey! Turns out the beast of burden is, in fact, a harbinger of happiness.
Donkey Assisted Therapy (DAT) is a brand new (and adorable) form of therapy that has now reached India.
The DAT Centre in Ahmedabad, which has been rescuing abandoned donkeys since 13 years, has now started conducting therapy sessions.
Image for representation only. Source: Flickr
Dr. Ramesh Kumar Perumal, veterinary coordinator of Donkey Sanctuary India, lists out the many wonderful benefits that donkey therapy can provide.
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“Donkey is a very docile animal and can be a good pet but unfortunately there is a stigma attached to this pet in India. A donkey can be an excellent facilitator in the motivation building process, stimulating development in differently-abled children and cultivating psycho-affective and psycho cognitive development processes”, he said to the Times of India.
Donkeys are especially good with differently-abled children. Since the DAT program was started in Africa, it has positively affected the lives of over 40,000 children. That’s a lot of love!
At the Ahmedabad centre, children with special needs can get rides on donkeys, and adults can spend time with the animals — all free of cost.
The Donkey Sanctuary is an international charity whose goal is protecting and promoting the welfare of donkeys and mules. In India, they are often rescued from brick kilns and construction sites, where they are used for transporting sand. Many of the animals are mistreated — often beaten and otherwise physically harmed to make them work harder, and then abandoned when they are old or injured.
The DAT Centre in Ahmedabad is in Chharodi, opposite Nirma University, and currently has 47 donkeys.