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Cows dying in Rajasthan despite special Ministry to protect them

Drought has made conditions difficult for both villagers and animals. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Drought has made conditions difficult for both villagers and animals. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras  

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In a State which credits itself for creating the first-ever Ministry for protection of cows, the death of hundreds of cows and bulls at Kochar Dungarpatti plateau of the Aravalli Hills due to severe shortage of water and fodder has sent shock waves among the people working for welfare of the bovine animals and cattle-rearers.

Even as the present spell of drought has made the conditions difficult for both villagers and animals, the members of vigilante groups who have attacked alleged cow transporters and mobilised people against cow slaughter in other parts of Rajasthan are conspicuous by their absence here.

Animals abandoned

The large Kochar Dungarpatti plateau is spread across several square kilometres at the junction of Sawai Madhopur, Dausa and Karauli districts. In this Gujjar-dominated belt situated 120 km east of Jaipur, cattle-rearers often abandon cows and bulls at the hilltop during drought when they migrate to other areas in search of livelihood.

Till about two months ago, the cattle population in the region was estimated at about 10,000. Mahesh Chaprana, a native of Sawai Madhopur camping in the region for relief work, said on Tuesday that half of the cattle wealth had been lost and four to five cows and bulls were still dying everyday.

Except Kochar, none of the 25 villages situated on the plateau has regular supply of water and power. Several villages have been abandoned and seven ponds in the region have dried up following the scanty rainfall.

The death of cows came to light when Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot visited the area last month and demanded immediate allocation of funds for saving their lives.

The State government initially sanctioned Rs.1.03 crore for the purpose, but the amount was later reduced to Rs.60 lakh and divided between the Animal Husbandry Departments of the three districts.

So far, no relief from the government in the shape of water, fodder or veterinary service has reached the plateau. Mr. Pilot told The Hindu that the death of cows had exposed “falsehood and duplicity” of the ruling BJP, which raises emotive issues of cow slaughter and seeks votes in the names of cows and temples.

State Gaupalan Minister Otaram Dewasi, in charge of cow affairs, did not respond to calls made by The Hindu.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:50:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Cows-dying-in-Rajasthan-despite-special-Ministry-to-protect-them/article14390091.ece

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