In November last year, the government of Haryana decided to add cows to the list of reward prizes that were given to sports achievers from the state. At a function to felicitate the state’s six medal winners at Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Rohtak, Haryana Animal Husbandry Minister Om Prakash Dhankar announced that the winners will be given the four-legged animals as reward gifts.
Speaking in an interview to Indian Express, Dhankar also listed out the benefits of cow’s milk. “(Unlike buffalo’s milk) cow’s milk contains less fat and is beneficial for boxers… a cow is very active, while a buffalo sleeps most of the time. Haryana main kehte hain, haanga chahiye toh bhains ka doodh, aur khoobsarti aur dimag chahiye, toh gai ka doodh (They say in Haryana that if you want power, drink buffalo milk; and if you want beauty and brains, drink cow’s milk). These boxers have done the country proud at the world level and we want them to excel more,” he said.
But, now it seems the state government’s move has backfired with three of the six recipients of the “cow” reward reportedly returning the animals. According to a report in Times of India, the three boxers have said that the cows do not produce milk and also cause physical harm to humans.
“My mother served the cow for good five days. Forget giving us milk, the animal hit her thrice. In fact, my mother suffered a damaged ligament after being kicked by the cow and we immediately returned the gift,” one of the boxers, Jyoti Gulia, from Rohtak told TOI. “We are happy with our buffaloes,” she added. Jyoti’s coach Vijay Hooda further added that the boxers were given cows of a local breed.
Apart from Jyoti, the other two boxers who returned the cows were Neetu Ghanghas and Sakshi Kumar from Bhiwani, saying that the cow hurt them with the horns. All the three boxers had won gold medals in their respective categories at senior national boxing championship held in Guwahati between November 19 and 26.