Rishikesh is a town in India, a holy place for Hindus, known for its spirituality and also the natural beauty planet earth has given. This is one place where you can always see crowds and plenty of activities to do from water sports to relaxing on the banks of river Ganga, yogis, and of course plenty of shopping.
This story is about my cousin Neha who lives in Rishikesh with my grandmother, who not only did something meaningful for the cows but also motivated 50 odd families in her neighborhood to join her in this awesome gesture towards mother nature.
This is how the story goes, there are many people in that area who works in animal husbandry organization in Rishikesh. These organizations take care of animals for bred, fiber, eggs, milk, and other food products. Sounds like a great thing until when the cows get older or stop providing milk, some organizations, become too selfish and let these cows wander around in public places, stopping to provide them shelter, which often leads to cows’ disease or in many cases death due to hunger. The number of these stray cows is increasing day by day. For whatever reason, these organizations are still able to get by this cruelty and the cows have to suffer through the remaining of their lives.
Neha saw a few of these around her house and decided to take some action and wanted to do what she could possibly do to show some kindness to these stray cows. She started giving the spare food, and bread in the morning from her own home, which started to be something that she had not imagined will become a part of her life. It was tough as the leftover food she could gather from her home wasn’t enough for all the cows that would wander around and look at her calmly hoping to get some food. She started thinking of ways to increase the food supply and started collecting vegetable peels, fruit peels, and leftover food in a bucket, and whatever food was leftover in her home, she would give it to the cows.
Gradually Neha also talked to her neighbors and made them aware of this situation too. She asked them to do the same thing, have a bucket to collect the vegetable and fruit peels, leftover food, etc., and give it to her, so she could feed the cows. This idea of hers was appreciated and welcomed by lots of neighbors and they started giving food to the cows, on their own.
Today, there are little over 50 such families who have learned to separate the food that can be given to the cows from what is trash, and they give the food to the cows in the morning and the evening. With this little step, not only Neha is saving many cows’ life, but also ensuring that there is a good use for the still edible portion of the food that is used for the cows.
In their community, cows do not have to starve and die, moreover, the rate of cow death in the area got decreased. I’m super proud of my cousin who without really any intent of achieving such a pinnacle of kindness, started this little motion and is doing an awesome job.
Thank you and hats off to you Neha!
In India, Cow is worshiped in almost every religious custom. Even today in Indian society cow is called ‘Gau Mata’ (cow mother). According to the scriptures, when Lord Brahma created the universe, the Cow was the first animal to be sent to the earth among all the animals, the cow is the only animal that utters the word ‘Maa’ – The Mother.
City authorities are also working on reducing the abuse of animals and tightening the ropes on these animal husbandry organizations, but in the meantime, people like Neha and the 50 other families are the kind of people we need more on our planet.