Bovine lovers take pledge to save cows from smugglers

Scores of bovine lovers from across the country gathered at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday pledging their commitment to prevent stray cattle from falling into the traps of greedy illegal beef smugglers.

Thirty-two year-old Amarpreet Singh had reached Delhi on Friday night from Punjab to attend the ‘jan andolan’ on the weekend. “A cow is a sacred animal that gives us milk from which many dairy products are made. It’s the need of the hours to protect indigenous breeds of Indian cows as their milk is of a far supreme quality than the crossbreds,” said Singh who calls himself a ‘protector’ of the indigenous breeds of cows.

“Even the cows’ excrement has medicinal value. While its urine is one of the main ingredients in some of the Ayurvedic medicines which help cure fatal diseases, cow dung is used to make gobar gas (biogas) having the potential to replace motor vehicle fuel” he added.

Some activists pursuaded people to take up animal husbandary. “Many foreign countries have been importing indigenous breeds of our cows because of the better quality of milk, and here in India we  go after the crossbred cows,” said Singh.

Hundreds of livestock owners, animal husbandry practitioners and dairy operators from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab, among other states were present at the rally. They marched to Jantar Mantar from Ramlila Maidan for seeking a ‘Rashtriya Mata’ status for cows.

Bollywood actress turned politician Hema Malini echoed similar concerns. “We should come together and lend our support to make cows our Rashtriya Mata,” she said. “I am a trustee of a cowshed myself. We should take up the cause with full zeal,” she added while sharing the dais with cattleshed owners.

Even some students turned up to learn about domesticated animals. “In cities we rarely get to see cowsheds in our neighbourhoods. So we have come here to learn how they are kept in a farm,” said Ritu Sharma, who lives in Rohini.

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