We cannot risk the loss of more cows and thus urge for immediate action by the governments to ensure fair immediate, and sufficient provision of fodder and water across all the afflicted areas.
Summers are harsh in the north-west region of India which includes Rajasthan and Northern Gujarat; but in recent years, they have grown harsher due to anthropogenic climate change . While humans have the means to cope with rising temperatures, cows are suffering and dying due to insufficient fodder and water. Every day in the summer, hundreds of cows in the Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan die due to lack of water and fodder .
This year, more than 1,00,000 cows have already been lost. The intolerably poignant sight of dead young cows and dried cow carcasses are becoming common in villages across this region. Hearing of this grave tragedy from credible sources, Dr. Sree Kumar, a veterinary doctor and cow care specialist from Kerala, Sreekanth Jakkaraju, Founder and Board of Director of California, USA-based non-profit organization Sustainable Eco Alliance (SEA) Inc., and Vinodh Valluri, a SEA Inc consultant and Environmental Scientist from Telangana, travelled to villages across Barmer over the past week to assess the situation.
After a protest organized outside the local collector’s office in Barmer, the government has announced the allocation of 30 crore INR for the provision of fodder and water.
In response to the unfolding tragedy of cow deaths, His Holiness Vishvadiraja Tirtha Swamiji, the Pithadipathi of the Raja Rajeshwara Samsthana (Udupi, Karnataka), a disciple of the current presiding Swamiji of the Sri Pejavara Mutt, Udupi, has been staying in Barmer, Rajasthan since nearly a month raising funds for fodder and urging the local government to provide for the cows.
He states that more than 400 starving and weak cows have been moved for treatment and recuperation to the Pathmeda Gau Chikitsalaya, a cow care centre set up at Barmer, Rajasthan. The Pathmeda Gaushala team in Barmer along with the Swamiji collected and distributed around 20 truckloads of fodder to afflicted villages across the region.
Truckloads of fodder have also been donated by Sustainable Eco Alliance (SEA) Inc., a USA-based non-profit organization that has inspired NRI donors to support the cause, and His Holiness RP Bhakti Raghava Swami, Minister, ISKCON Daiva Varnasrama Ministry – India branch, as part of the Om Sri Surabhi Campaign, a 12-year special focus campaign on cow protection.
After a protest organized outside the local collector’s office in Barmer, the government has announced the allocation of 30 crore INR for the provision of fodder and water. However, dispensation must be swift and fair, since it is probably that local politics might interfere with or intentionally redirect the provisions selectively. We cannot risk the loss of more cows and thus urge for immediate action by the governments to ensure fair, immediate, and sufficient provision of fodder and water across all the afflicted areas.
We must note that it is quite unfortunate that so many cows have died under a state government led by Congress government and we request central government led by Modiji of the Bharatiya Janata Party which, curiously, is often accused of being strongly biased towards cow protection to take immediate action on this. We hope that they ensure that, in addition to addressing the immediate situation sufficiently, much research and planning is done to ensure that it does not repeat. We also request mainstream media to broadcast this message.
Meanwhile, we too are carefully and systematically devising permanent solutions to the problem of cow deaths by identifying and addressing the root causes and will soon release a set of tentative recommendations for governments, local leaders, and cow herders.