“We are underway to develop ‘panchgavya‘, which constitutes five products offered by a cow– cow-urine, milk, curd, ghee and cow-dung, that is capable of curing any disease in humans,” said Shravan Kumar Garg, the newly-appointed Chairman of Haryana Gau Seva Ayog.
Addressing a press conference at the Mansa Devi Temple, he continued, “The human body, they say, only gets ill due to ‘tridosh‘ or three sicknesses, which the panchgavya can end. We are also trying to make a team of vaiya (ayurvedic doctors) who will be provided space inside cow-sheds itself and may be we will be able to provide people with medications based on panchgavya.”
He also stated that this time, “Diwali will be special for the people in the state. Diyas made of cow dung, pictures of Ganesh and Lakshmi and other materials will be made available. This will also bring purity in the environment and inculcate immense love towards service to cow, among the citizens. It has been an endeavor of the Ayog to inculcate a feeling of affection for the cows.”
Talking about the importance of cows in the hindu scriptures, he said, “Cow is like our mother as per hindu texts. We forgot our mother maybe due to our patriarchy, differential knowledge or as we were led astray by others. But our texts have said that even Goddess Laxmi resides in a cow’s dung. This might be out of grasp of some people but they will believe it when scientists prove it.”
Over Rs 100 crore spent by Ayog in 5 years
Meanwhile, a total amount of more than Rs 100 crore has yet been spent by the Ayog in this direction in the past five years, stated Shravan. He further said that while approximately only 325 cowsheds had existed prior to the formation of the Ayog, the number has now doubled to almost 650. As per him, almost 50,000 stray cows still roam on the streets of the state.
A budget of Rs 30 crore has been allotted to the commission for the current year.
About the various head of expenditure in the current budget of Rs 30 crore, he said, “I was given the chairmanship last month itself. Initially, the department of Animal Husbandry and Gau Seva Ayog were working on it. Over Rs 100 crore, which has been spent till now, has been used for Gausamvardhan, a scheme for the conservation and development of indigenous breeds of cow, machines including cow-dung gas plants et al, and infrastructure of cowsheds.”
“We have housed as many as 4.5 lakh cows in 750 cow sheds, but almost 50,000- 55,000 still remain stray. However, we are continuously taking in cows so the numbers may have reduced to 25,000 as per my estimate,” he added.
On being questioned about the dilapidated condition of several cowsheds, which has allegedly even led to the death of cows, he said, “Cowsheds are run on charity. All we can do is facilitate. We barely help.”
He said that the Haryana government has enacted the most stringent law in the country for cow protection. Under this, a provision of 10 years jail or a fine of up to Rs one lakh has been imposed. He said that the smuggling of cows has stopped because of the same.
Formation of cow task force
“We have also launched cow-task force per district which will act strictly and take action against people who let their cows roam around and feed. A fine of Rs 5,100 will be imposed on first such violation which will increase many folds if person is found doing it again,” he said.
This committee includes Additional Deputy Commissioner, SDM, Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Local Body, Animal Husbandry Department officials and representatives associated with cow service in the districts.
The Ayog plans on containing all cows in cowsheds as they aim to fill the cow-sheds to full capacity. The body also wishes to open rural cow-sheds which will house all cows of that particular area.” Only 10 per cent of our districts are currently running cow-sheds. If we get the numbers up by 25 per cent– we should be able to remove every single cow from the roads,” said Garg.
Besides this, to make the cowsheds self-sufficient, more than 50 cowsheds have been identified and have been provided with subsidised machines to convert cow-dung into wood,which is used in cremation. These machines, which cost almost Rs 50,000 are being provided at 90 per cent subsidy, only at a cost of Rs 5,000.
The Ayog has also reportedly started repairing gobar-gas plants across the state. Under the project, organic farming is also being promoted by using cow dung as manure instead of the “extensive use of pesticides and insecticides.”
Breed improvement programmes will also be started in the state, said Garg. “Breed improvement vaccine will be made available in Gaushalas for only Rs 200, whereas the actual cost of the vaccine is Rs 1,200.”
Work yet to be done
Even though the budget of the Haryana Gau Seva Commission has increased from Rs 45 lakh to Rs 30 crore in the last seven years, the government has not been able to free the state from the nuisance of stray cattle. The Haryana government had first set a target to free the state of stray animals by August 15, 2018, and then had extended the same to January 1, 2019. It has been more than 1.5 years since the deadline lapsed and the strays continue to roam on the streets.
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