When Akhilesh Yadav asked for stopping the promotion of ‘Gujarat ke gadhe’ (asses of Gujarat) during the 2017 UP assembly elections, the humble donkey hogged headlines. It has, again. The culprit is not politics this time, but a gelatinous substance called ‘ejiao’. Extracted from donkey hide, it is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for dry cough and insomnia. This has spawned another illegal trade. Our donkey population has decreased to 1.2 lakh in 2019, a 61 per cent decline from 2012.