Downtown

A safe haven for cows in West Mambalam

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: While cattle menace remains one of the unresolved problems of Triplicane, West Mambalam has a shed, where stray cattle are taken in. Not all the cattle on the streets of Triplicane are strays. The ones that are can be accommodated in a facility that could be built for them. Here, cattle roaming around on a Triplicane street. Photos: S. R. Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: SR Raghunathan

Triplicane can learn from West Mambalam. In congested Triplicane, cows freely roam about, hindering the movement of vechicular traffic and pedestrians. In West Mambalam, a dedicated shed has been set up for these ‘revered’ animals. The Gowshala offers a prefect retiring place, where these cows are not just taken care of, but also worshipped by devotees.

Started some 33 years ago, the Gowshala has ensured a safe place for cows. It serves as an old age home for the cows, preventing them from ending up in the slaughter house.

“To start with, we had just three cows. Most houses in those days had their own domestic cows. But with the changing times, most people left these animals in the gowshala. So their numbers grew. We also took in stray cows or those that were injured in road accidents,” says K. Swaminathan, the manager of the place.

Now, the Gowshala has 120 cows, though it can only accommodate 60, and all their daily needs are taken care of by eight dedicated members. “The place has become cramped now, because the female cows that were taken in have given birth. But, we can’t let them go. A bigger space in the locality will indeed help a lot,” he adds. The cows undergo medical check-up once in in three months. “Vaccination for foot and mouth disease is a administered once in six months.” Milk from the cows is distributed to the temples nearby and to a special school on Srinivasa Pillai Street.

“The remaining milk is sold,” says Swaminathan. The Gowshala is supported by donations. To offer help, contact Swaminathan at 9444125514.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 8:20:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/a-safe-haven-for-cows-in-west-mambalam/article6470872.ece

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