Official relieved for distributing old and dying cows to adivasi communities in Nilgiris

An official, who is alleged to have overseen a scheme whereby adivasi and Adi Dravidar communities were supplied with free milch cows that were alleged to have been old and beset with health problems, has been relieved from her post, Nilgiris district collector, J. Innocent Divya confirmed to reporters here on Monday.

Ms. Divya confirmed that the official had been “relieved” from her post and charges have been framed against her for departmental action. The actions follow after the Collector formed a committee to look into charges of malfeasance that had been brought against the concerned official, whose name has not been disclosed.

Informed sources said that on paper, 1,079 cattle were to be distributed to beneficiaries under the scheme to communities across the Nilgiris. The scheme was being implemented by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department.

A tribal rights activist working in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Gudalur, said that many of the cattle that the communities received were of old-age and were destined for slaughterhouses before being procured and distributed to the communities.

“Many of the cattle also died shortly after they were given to the communities while the ones which did survive are too old to produce any milk, which have now become a financial burden to the communities, who have to pay for their maintenance without any financial benefit,” said the activist.

A source from the district administration also said that there had been discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries and the cattle that had been distributed. When contacted, Regional Joint Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Nilgiris district, Dr. Bagavath Singh, said that around 60 of the cattle that were distributed had died from tick infection. The department was working with the communities to ensure that the cattle which have been distributed are given adequate care. “We are conducting awareness campaigns and health camps where the cattle are being monitored for any signs of disease and treated,” said Mr. Singh.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 10:41:34 AM |

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