Lifestyle Environment 18 Mar 2018 The unconventional: ...

The unconventional: In love with donkey work

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | GOKUL M.G
Published Mar 18, 2018, 12:10 am IST
Updated Mar 18, 2018, 12:10 am IST
He is on a mission to bring back the lost glory of donkey’s milk and is getting closer to it.
 He is on a mission to bring back the lost glory of donkey’s milk and is getting closer to it.

We’ve all heard of cow’s milk, goat’s milk and even almond milk, but how about a glass of donkey milk? And, who would have thought the poor animal not just carries loads, but loads of health benefits too? “As well as providing help in carrying loads, donkeys are packed with other goodness, namely milk,” says Aby Baby. He is on a mission to bring back the lost glory of donkey’s milk and is getting closer to it. Aby Baby owns a donkey farm and produces cosmetic products using donkey milk. 

Hailing from Ramamangalam, Aby was working as the marketing manager of an IT firm in Bangalore when he had the spark to start a business. When he introduced the idea to everyone, there were obviously people who supported him and others who neglected it. But he could convince everyone that donkey milk has an abundance of good values. When asked about how he got this unique idea, he shared his story of inspiration. “An entrepreneur friend of mine, who belongs to a business family, once told me that he would one day become a giantlike ‘Goodknight Mohanan’. When quizzed about the speciality of this person, he mentioned about the revolutionary mosquito mats, which he found in a hotel in Japan. It so happens that as I met key personalities who have brought about major changes and I too wanted to venture into a unique field, something without competition.” 

Shedding light on the properties of donkey’s milk, he says, “I spent a good amount of time researching it. The US officially accepted donkey’s milk in 2015 and the UK is yet to accept. Right now, there is a high demand for donkey’s milk in the US for its medicinal value, as a cure for autism, asthma and many other illnesses. In the US, parents of children with PANDA Syndrome (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated) are now relocating their homes near to donkey farms, to get fresh donkey’s milk for treatment.” 

Aby has 20 donkeys at his farm in Ramamanglam. Aby’s plan was to explore the potential of donkey’s milk in cosmetics. He found that people would go to any lengths to find a cure for their skin problems. And this resulted in him launching his own brand of cosmetics called ‘Dolphin IBA’. A first-of-its-kind initiative in India, which currently has products on sale, he claims that he could successfully cure a girl who has been suffering from the inflammatory condition caused by Lichen Planus (Lichen Ruber Planus). 

Aby bought these donkeys from Tamil Nadu. Looking after them is no easy task. Initially, Aby had around 36 of them and they were a handful. “Donkeys are wild animals and it takes a lot of time to domesticate them. Buying a donkey and looking after it is a costly affair. Each donkey is unique. We have to get to know them very closely. They will also be very attached to their master. Natural and Co3 grass are their main foods. We also bring home grass from various places exclusively for them,” adds Aby. 

“It’s not just the milk that is in high demand. People come here to collect donkey urine, as this too is said to have medicinal properties,” he adds. For Aby, this was all a slow process. “The farm is on a two-acre land. None of this happened overnight. It was achieved one step at a time, after endless efforts. Plenty of people visit the farm out of sheer curiosity. Just drop by at Ramamangalam and enquire anyone about the donkey farm and they would point in the right direction.” 

Now Aby has set his eyes to develop his business to international standards and he believes there is a big market for his products. The processing and other mechanisms are quite expensive and he believes he has mastered the techniques behind it. Aby now hopes to get a good result out of it!

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