Hundreds of cows have reportedly died due to the hunger, thirst and negligence in Rajasthan as their caretakers are on strike to protest the delayed wages.
Hundreds of cows in Hingonia Gaushala suffering in the miserable situations and many have died as their care takers have been on strike since last two weeks. Hingonia Gaushala which is a government run Cow Shelter in Jaipur, Rajasthan has been a place of despondency and death as the care takers have abandoned their animals. The hungry cows are barely alive due to fatigue and disease. Nearly 40 cows are reportedly dying daily in the government run organization as there is nobody to feed them, even to drain the rain water which has entered the cow shelter making it a pool of slush.
Hingonia Gaushala is the largest government run cow shelter situated in Ajmeer. It houses more than 8,000 cows. A skilled team of 14 veterinarians, 24 livestock assistants, and about 200 other staff have been employed to take care of these cattle.
Ironically, this is happening in a state which was first in forming a Ministry entirely for the welfare of cows. In fact, Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje had taken an oath to protect and look after the welfare of the cows nearly six years ago. And her government had made claims that it had spent over Rs.1.08 crore at Hingonia Gaushala during the year 2014-15. Inspite of this claims, the issue of delayed wages and the cattle deaths has revealed the ugly side of all this.
Regarding the issue of delayed wages of the Hingonia Gaushala workers the Jaipur’s municipal officials clarified that the company to which the cow shelter was franchised has been blacklisted, hence the funds have been unavailable. The irate employees whose wages are due for months have gone on strike, living the poor cows to fend for themselves. The hapless cattle have been dying in extreme pain, hunger and fatigue since last two weeks as a result of the tussle between the municipal administrators and the caretakers.
Fortunately Rajasthan High Court upon hearing about the plight of the cow shelters, have taken the government to task asking it to submit a detail report within a day. Defending the State, the secretary for the animal husbandry and Gaupalan department Kunji Lal Meena stated that the cows that died were actually ones which were brought to the shelter recently. He said that these cows were already sick and under nourished and suffering from issues related to mal nutrition. He further informed the Court that such incident was not new as many cows had died in the government cow shelter in Ajmer last year as well.
Bowing under the severe criticism from animal rights group and High Court, Urban Development, Local Self & Housing Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat had inspected the cow shelter. He along with the Jaipur municipal corporation officials surveyed the site to take the stock of the situation. Talking to media after the inspection, Shekhawat said that he has directed the officials to take immediate action to drain the rain water from the cow shelter and clean the shed and to provide food and necessary medicines to the cows.
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