Downtown

“All cows are welcome here”

Pinjarapole cattle shed at Ayanavaram in Chennai. Photo : K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

The smell of dung pierces the air even as you are about to enter the Madras Pinjrapole in Otteri. As the smell is evidence that this home for aged and infirm cattle is doing its job well, I am not complaining.

Located on the Konnur High Road, this sheltes sprawls over 12 acres and has two thousand cattle, of which 150 are milch cows.

Started in 1908, Madras Pinjrapole (Gujarati word for goshala) is one of the oldest and largest old age homes for cattle in the city. It was started in memory of Chathur Boojasoss Kushaldoss, a Gujarati merchant. Today, the activities are managed by a trust led by Vittaldas Jagnnathdas, vice-president, V.N. Damani, treasurer and Mahendra Parmar, secretary.

“Our doors are always open to receive cattle, irrespective of the condition they are in. The highest number of cattle that the Pinjrapole housed is 2,600, nearly 10 years ago,” says Narendra Kumar Lodha, member of the feeding committee.

Temples are their greatest patrons. Recently, Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Temple in Triplicane sent 40 aging cows after the temple authorities couldn’t take care of them. Marundeeswarar Temple at Thiruvanmiyur sent seven cows.

The biggest challenge is meeting the day-to-day expenditure of keeping the cows. The generosity of donors enables the authorities to meet this challenge and keep the activities going at the goshala.

Nearly 800 litres of milk is produced every day, which is given away to donors residing in and around the locality.

“Our yearly expense runs up to Rs. 6 crore. Thanks to donations from the public we have never had to struggle to feed the cattle,” he says. There are many who visit the home on their birthdays and anniversaries to make donations to the goshala. It receives maximum donations on Amavasaya and Purnima. The menu includes seven varieties of food including Jodphur ladoo, a preparation made with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Nearly 100 staff work at the goshala and a full-time vet is on duty to attend to emergencies.

The trustees of the Pinjrapole are planning to get more people including school children visiting the cow shelter. A modernised cow shelter is getting ready where visitors can walk through the place.

“We are planning a soft launch by the end of this month. By mid-January we hope to open it to the public,” says Lodha.

This apart, it hopes to reach out to more people through its donation schemes where one can take up the expense for a day for one cow.

It also conducts free medical camp for all animals every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Madras Pinjrapole can be contacted at 2662 0960 or at pinjrapole@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 2:26:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/plans-are-afoot-at-madras-pinjrapole-to-have-more-visitors/article6624847.ece

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