Being sold at Rs. 2,500 per litre for treating the deadly disease
In the Muslim neighbourhood of Trilokpuri’s Block-32, goats are everywhere – tethered to gates, lying on charpoys and defecating on stairs. Their droopy ears and quizzical expressions hang over their decorated collars readying them for slaughter around Id-Ul-Azha or Bakrid next week.
Yet, these creatures, indulge in social work as they wait to be slaughtered: the milk they produce is used to treat persons suffering from dengue. With goat’s milk supposedly effective in bringing up the blood platelet count, the owners of these animals have started to hike prices as the dengue epidemic spreads in these parts.
Chandni, a 19-year-old volunteer with Josh, an NGO that runs a minority resource centre in the area, says both goat’s milk and leaves of the papaya plant are used to treat people suffering from dengue.
This dengue season, East Delhi had recorded 435 cases by the last day of September. In the last few days the count has gone up to 617. Accordingly, goat’s milk, which used to sell at Rs. 400 per litre and had initially doubled to Rs. 800 has now settled at Rs. 2,500 per litre.
“Roughly, 100 ml sells for Rs. 400 now,” says Deepak Kumar (18), a resident of the area. People come from Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Patparganj, Ganesh Nagar and Laxmi Nagar to buy goat’s milk, he adds. Deepak too owns a goat he slowly reveals. “My house is really far from here so I cannot show you the goat. But I assure you that I don’t sell the milk. I give it away for free,” he smiles.