image Victoria’s Secret

Names can be so misleading right? But it definitely got your attention for my fearure post of this week. Let’s ignore the hot factor and come to terms with the facts.

Mumbai is known for many iconic landmarks, but the most iconic feature of my city would be the Victorias or horse-drawn carriages.

The ornate silver-colored open carriages, which date back to Queen Victoria’s reign have been plying the streets of Mumbai since the colonial times. While once upon a time it was used to transport the wealthy residents of Mumbai, now it is used to carry tourists around the iconic Marine Drive promenade.

 Often seen outside the luxury Taj Mahal Palace hotel and Gateway of India, these carriages have always fascinated me. Though I never tried to sit in one of these, it does paint a garish and jazzy picture of cindrella and her pumpkin carriage.

So why am I mentioning it in my feature post?

The Bombay high court declared a ban on 8th June 2015 and termed this carriages to be completely illegal and has directed the government to seize all the horse carriages and unlicensed stables within a year from the date of ban.

According to the hearing, these carriages do not fall under the category of public conveyance under the Bombay Public Conveyance Act 1920. According to the public litigation filed by the Animal and Bitds Charitable Trust and PETA, the horses are often malnourished and overworked and are subjected to unhygienic stable conditions.

Ingrid Newkirk campaigning for horses in Mumbai

According to the figures submitted, there are 170 horses and 130 carriages in the city that are responsible for livelihood of almost 700 families.

I have been in love with Marine Druve since the year 1997 when I first laid my eyes on it. I have seen those carriages everytime I have been to the place. Every time I have indulged in a night-out with my friends I have passed by these carriages. Other than amused reaction to the neon look, the one feeling that has always been prominent is the look of those poor horses. I do feel sorry for the families, but sometimes some changes are for a greater cause.

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