A recent Brooke survey, revealed that the Qalandars had over 3,000 working equine animals, living close to, or on the edges of a number of cities and towns in Western Uttar Pradesh.
The survey revealed that Meerut has the highest population followed by Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Noida, Bijnor, Delhi and Aligarh. In addition, there are around 835 equine animals in Karnal, 163 in Sonipat (Haryana) and 200 in Baipur (Nainital), Uttarakhand.
The survey also revealed that there are many sub-types of Qalandars and all are associated with equine businesses, either breeding or rearing. They also buy and sell foals or horses and donkeys from various equine fairs, held in western Uttar Pradesh.
A close examination of the health of a lot of the animals owned by Qalandar communities revealed that illnesses such as surra, colic and lameness were common. The Brooke also found a reliance on traditional medicine and untrained local healers.
Recognizing the serious nature of the problem, the Brooke has begun to provide the Qalandars with direct veterinary services in order to alleviate the pain and suffering of their animals and stop the transmission of equine diseases in the area.