Vrindavan, 2018.12.04 (VT): Bull, the most sacred animal, considered as ‘Dharma’ and the vehicle of Lord Shiva is reduced to a scavenger due to lack of care and the lackadaisical attitude of concerned authorities and apathy of the locals in the land of ‘Govinda’.
One can find 150 – 200 cattle, mostly bulls, at the main landfill site of Vrindavan. The job which pigs are supposed to do is being done by the holy bull out of hunger. It has been a general practice that people abandon the male calves which then wander around in search of food. Hundreds of bulls and cows die or gets injured on road accidents while there move around in search of food.
Despite the good intentions of and steps taken by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for cow protection, nothing is visible on the ground. One can see stray cows and bulls roaming in search of food and getting beaten by people when they try to eat something from their shops, houses or fields. Many of them die falling in big drains.
U.P. Chief Minister had also laid the foundation stone of Mahamana “Gau Gram” scheme in Vrindavan for the agrarian development of 108 villages in February this year. He announced opening of ‘Gaushalas’ and cow sheds in phased manner for stray cattle. But after almost a year, the fate of stray cows and bulls hasn’t changed.
Back then, Vrindavan alone had around 30 ‘Gaushalas’ with over 10,000 cows. However, not all cattle are sheltered and the homeless ones that are left to fend for themselves often waddle into the many landfills now dotting the holy town’s landscape.
We have all come across the gory videos on social media depicting cattle being operated upon to pull out the stacks of plastic waste in its body. It is disturbing to find that even in Vrindavan, the land of ‘Gopala’- ‘the protector of cows’, the situation is no better than the other parts of the country.
While ingestion of plastic and other inorganic substances including hazardous hospital waste is the major problem, there have also been incidents of cattle, particularly bulls, losing their lives or severely injuring themselves after falling into the designated landfill sites of Vrindavan.
When the team VT interviewed some rag pickers working at the landfill site, it discovered that the truck full of bulls are brought from some distant areas and released near the landfill site.
In addition to these sites being poorly maintained, the callousness of the authorities is such that the land has been encroached upon by the ‘Mandi Samiti’ – the government body which deals with wholesale markets.
Taking cognizance of this situation, the Uttar Pradesh government has now decided to establish ‘go-ashrams’ for homeless cattle on the lines of old-age homes. Planned at the block-level, these ‘go-ashrams’ will be made self-sustaining so that they are not a burden on the government. This brings some hope for destitute cattle.
While many charities are talking about the cow protection and raising funds in the name of the cows, there are hardly any Gaushalas which accept the bulls with open arms. They are left to die in hunger or survive on eating garbage.
The situation is so bad that even the Gaushalas having medi-care facilities refuse to accept the bulls injured in road accidents. Vrindavan badly requires a rehabilitation centre and pasture lands for bulls. (AS)