Those who “adopt” stray cows will be felicitated by the Congress government in Rajasthan on Independence Day and Republic Day.
In an order addressed to all district collectors, the Directorate of Gopalan, which looks after the welfare of cows, has said: “Those charitable and sensitive citizens, who have adopted stray cows, will be felicitated at the state level by the district collector on Independence/ Republic Day.” The order was issued on December 28, after the Congress government came to power.
Under the previous BJP government, Rajasthan became the first state to have a ‘Cow Minister’ — Otaram Devasi was given charge. Pramod Bhaya is the state’s new Cow Minister.
The latest order urges district collectors to motivate the public, charitable people, administrative officials and social workers to adopt stray cows and to address the issue during meetings held for public welfare.
“Whoever wants to adopt cows can deposit a specific amount decided by local gaushalas and can visit the cow shelters any time to see the animals. If a sensitive person wants to keep a stray cow at his home to look after it, he can adopt it,” it says.
The application to adopt cows can be submitted to the district collector, joint director of the animal husbandry department, information and public relations department, or sub divisional officers. The cows which have been adopted will be tagged by animal husbandry department officials.
“The purpose of the order is to motivate charitable people towards adopting stray cows and sending them to cow shelters. As a result of this, the income of cow shelters will also increase and it will also ensure effective upkeep and maintenance of the animals,” said Anil Kaushik, joint director, planning, Department of Gopalan.
The order says the adoption scheme follows similar initiatives by the district collectors of Jhalawar and Alwar districts.
In the run-up to the Rajasthan Assembly elections, the Congress had promised to increase grants for cow shelters and better facilities for stray cows in its manifesto.