On Aug 6, when news about death of over 500 cows in 15days at Hingonia Gaushala reached Dhyan Foundation, Yogi Ashwiniji immediately moved a team of volunteers to check the actual state of the cows. What greeted them was sad and disheartening. Cows had been left thirsty and hungry and stuck in the midst of a swamp (mixture of mud, dung and fodder caused by heavy rains). For days, the place not cleaned. As a result causing not only deaths but leaving many in critical condition. Neither was there management to oversee nor any labour to take immediate action.
We learnt, due to lack of payments, the labour was on strike for a month and ever since then the cows were not given their feed. Several tons of cow dung had accumulated, and to camouflage the grave condition, loose sand had been placed on top of heaps of dung. When monsoon showers began in full swing, the dung and mud turned to quicksand where several hundred cows were stuck in almost 2-2.5 ft of cow dung marsh. There was no green fodder, no milk for newly born calves, absolutely no segregation and there were only 2 doctors for the 400 critical cases.
With the aid of locals, Dhyan Foundation volunteers immediately began pulling out the cows from the cow-dung quick sand. The volunteers shifted all sick cows to hospital during the day & continued to work into the wee hours of the night. Green fodder was arranged to feed cows who couldn’t even move an inch due to illness & weak bodies.
The emergency ward of the hospital looked like a war zone where close to 400 cows were in critical condition with upto 5 cows dying every hour. Since there was no staff, Dhyan Foundation volunteers began giving glucose-water and feed to each animal one-by-one. DF volunteer teams reached the place from many states to help the suffering cows on the ground and provided milk to the dying calves and arranged for several tons of gur to strengthen the cows.
“The basic problem in all cow shelters is lack of fodder and caring staff, garbage and plastics with cows eat cause diseases and high mortality. Because of corruption, cattle are sold off to butchers illegally from certain shelters. Even though government has provided enough gaushalas, certain corrupt officials do not take proper care and at times, sell off fodder illegally,” commented Yogi Ashwini on the state of cow shelters in India. The condition of the animal shelter which houses all the sick animals from capital city of Jaipur, Rajasthan is a live example.
Due to the quick turnaround in providing relief operations by our volunteers, the condition is much better now. The critical animals began showing signs of improvement, with many starting to walk again. Paucity of doctors sadly could not save the lives of countless many who succumbed to their injuries and illness.
The situation has come under control but still there is no management in place to help especially the sick cows in ICU. The doctors on duty were very happy with support from Dhyan Foundation volunteers. Dhyan Foundation has hired a few people to work at the gaushala, and our volunteers are still making frequent visits to the gaushalas, to ensure the situation is under control.