This is a home for the destitute. Only the residents are not human beings, but bovines. Rescued before reaching the slaughter houses in Kerala — and an even torturous journey during which they are bound, gagged and sprayed with sedatives — cows, bulls, buffaloes, are brought to a safe haven at Myleripalayam Pirivu on Pollachi Road.

Shree Bhagwan Mahaveer Gaushala of the Coimbatore Animal Welfare Society is a shelter to these bovines which would have otherwise met their end or dumped on the wayside if not found suitable for slaughter. The Gaushala started this rescue work nine years ago with some 30 cows, now with 820 bovines that are housed in 38 sheds spread across a 25-acre area. While calves, cows and bulls are housed in the clean sheds that are devoid of stink and flies, the buffaloes enjoy space in a walled open area that is complete with some slush in one corner for those ones which like to take a roll in it. They enjoy their three meals, daily medical care, and above all a safe environment where there is no threat to life. Dileep Mehta, who has been managing the Gaushala for the last eight years, has interesting and some shocking anecdotes to share about the various rescue missions he undertook. There are still so many court cases he is fighting on behalf of the Society against the truck owners from whom he rescued the cows. “Their day begins to listening to religious chants that is played in all the sheds using the public address system. The first feed comes after this. The veterinarian attends to the cows. Cattle from one shed get to spend one day in the open each day. At the end of the day, they are gathered back into the shed. Cows that have given birth get to stay with their calves till they turn two months. After this period the mother and calf are sent to separate sheds,” he says.