“What About Our Income?” Ask Horse Owners as BMC Stops Joyrides
The death of a six-year-old after falling off a horse during a joyride, has once again put the spotlight on joyrides in Mumbai. When Jhanvi Sharma succumbed to head injuries after the horse she was riding slipped and fell, the horse owner was arrested for culpable homicide. The Bombay High Court has now banned horse joyrides across the city leaving horse owners worried about their livelihood.
While the BMC is now planning to seize the horses used for joyrides, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered to rehabilitate the horses.
In an effort to rehabilitate Mumbai’s Victoria carriage owners, the Maharashtra government had passed a resolution to offer them a hawking license and compensation worth Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakhs. Joyride owners however, are not covered in this plan. The BMC has now said that the license for owners of joyride horses expired in 2015 and has not been renewed since.
While a few of the horse owners we spoke to were aware that their license had expired in 2015, many however claim that the BMC pointed this out to them only after the ban. With their very livelihoods now at stake, joyride horse owners will now be applying for a fresh licence to operate at their usual haunts in the city. But the question persists, if the ban isn’t revoked, how will they earn their livelihood?
With the ban already in place, animal rights activists believe the government’s rehabilitation plan must be implemented as soon as possible.
As of now, the horse owners stare at an uncertain future as they await the BMC’s next move.
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
Video Editor: Veeru Mohan