One year of Vishwa Mangal Gou Gram Yatra :
An experiment in cow as the pivot of rural economy
ONE year has passed since the Vishwa Mangal Gou Gram Yatra concluded in New Delhi with presenting a memorandum containing over 8.40 crore signatures to the President Smt Pratibha Patil on January 31, 2010. After the Yatra, the people associated with it took many concrete initiatives to establish economic usefulness of the cow and also for village development.
According to Shri Shankarlal, former secretary of the Yatra Samiti, during the last one year thousands of farmers adopted organic farming and the manufacturing as well as marketing of panchgavya products began in professional manner across the country. Over 400 new goushalas were set up and the existed goushalas were strengthened. Over 5,000 workers were imparted training to start cow-based industries in villages.
Some time after presenting the memorandum to President, the Yatra Samiti received a letter from Central government informing that the issue of banning cow slaughter is a state subject and the state governments should be contacted for it. But the government did not comment on the nine other issues raised in the memorandum. However, the Yatra Samiti sent a copy of the letter to all the state governments requesting them to take effective measures to prevent cow slaughter and to promote cow rearing.
Now, some member so the Yatra’s central team who met in New Delhi on January 31 to review the one year activities, suggested to meet Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi to apprise them of the whole issue and also to draw their attention to the dire need of govnash protection. Some leading saints will also individually write to Prime Minister requesting him to take initiative on the issues raised in the memorandum.
Apart from starting new goushalas special projects for improving the breeds of Sahiwal, Nagri, Rathi, Tharparkar and Gir cows have begun at many places. Efforts are made at these centres to prevent cross-breeding of these cows to preserve and promote their original breed, added Shri Shankarlal who is also Akhil Bharatiya Gou Sewa Pramukh of RSS.
He pointed out that some existed goushalas conducted good experiments. “The goushala in Siliguri, Assam, was financially weak. Last year, it started a scheme called ‘Savamani’ which consists of 51.25 kg foodgrains to be fed to the cows. People are encouraged to donate it for the cows. It produced good results,” he said.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Sitaram Kedilaya informed that after the Yatra the RSS Pratinidhi Sabha adopted a resolution on cow protection and applauding the organisation of the Yatra. A copy of the resolution was also sent to central government.
Talking to Organiser Dr HR Nagendra, who was working president of the Yatra Samiti, said: “We brought out two complete souvenirs in Hindi and English. We also documented about 800 videos that we received from across the country. A 14 episode serial on the Yatra was telecast by the Shankara Channel. We have contacted Astha and Sanskar Channels also to telecast similar episodes on the Yatra,” he said. “We had a big conference in Prashanti Kutiram, Bengaluru, from December 13 to 15, 2010 to generate awareness about the research going on all over the country on this subject. More than 1000 people participated in the conference.
With the inspiration of Sri Ramchandrapura Math, Karnataka, a ‘Maa Gou Products’ company was formed to produce and market the panchgavya products in professional manner. An investment of Rs two crore was made in it and the company has started functioning. Taking another inspiring initiative the Math has stopped using mechanised sugar in the Math and only the gur is used there. It also donated over 1000 indigenous breed cows to various farmers.
Shri Rammohan, who was Delhi office secretary of the Yatra Samiti, informed that a Cow Breed Protection Authority was formed at Kasargod district in Kerala by the state’s left front government for the promotion of cows. Not only this, the state government has declared Kerala an Organic State. A three-day camp was organised at Alleppey district in December last year for the promotion of cows and organic farming. The Animal Husbandry Department of Kerala also organised an exhibition at Thalikalam block of Trichur. It is the result of these activities that the demand of indigenous cow breed increased and the price of some cows crossed over Rs 35,000 each cow.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gram Vikas Pramukh Dr Dinesh pointed out that the work to start a goushala at Somanth temple of Gujarat has begun. Similarly, a Cow Sanctuary is being set up in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh on a piece of 9000 acre land. Shri Bhanwarlal Kothari, who was treasurer of the Yatra Samiti, informed that around 12000 acre gochar land is being revived in Bikaner, Rajasthan. A helpline has also been started in Pune for the cow protection. Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad started the marketing of panchgavya products under the banner of Gou Brand. It buys products directly from the goushalas and sells them in the market professionally.
by Sri Pramod Kumar, Organiser