Bendur (aka “Pola”) celebrations are meant to honor those working on farms and in the fields. Women usually make a festive meal while the men take the day off and working bullocks take a rest.
Bullocks are traditionally painted with brightly colored cancer-causing dyes. Despite the “honors” they receive on this particular occasion, almost none of them receive even basic care on that day or any other. Bullocks who slave away under the sweltering sun commonly develop ailments—they become dehydrated from being denied water and rest, and they suffer from lameness, yoke gall from the heavy wooden beam on their shoulders, and stomach ailments.
The best way to hold these animals in high regard every day of the year would be to grant them a real rest by retiring them permanently through Animal Rahat’s mechanization projects.
For those who have been retired, here is how the group’s caretakers celebrated Bendur with the sanctuary residents in Sangli: