The Uttar Pradesh government is working on a proposal to set up gaushalas (cow shelters) in jails across the state. Minister of State for Jails Jai Kumar Singh said the department has sought information from all jails about the possibility of setting up cow shelters. He said work for development of a cow shelter has started in Gautam Buddha Nagar jail.
Last year, BJP-ruled Haryana had announced setting up gaushalas in its jails. “We have manpower and most jails have adequate land to set up gaushalas. Naini Jail in Allahabad already has a gaushala. We are looking at the possibility of starting gaushalas in other jails. Our plan is to run them with a little grant from the government and utilise the assistance from social workers and citizens,” Singh told The Indian Express.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had already announced that his government will set up gaushalas in all districts for stray cows. However, Singh said the jail department’s proposal is not targeted at housing stray animals but as a means to develop another productive activity for the prisoners.
“The cows that give milk will be kept there. We plan to use the gaushala also to help develop a model for organic farming in the agricultural land in jails. Cow dung will be used as fertiliser there in the fields to cultivate vegetables,” Singh said.