In what can be said to be the most unique scheme in the country, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chose the occasion of Gopashtami on Sunday to hand over cows to 11 families that have malnourished children. It will serve the dual purpose of preserving cows as well as providing nourishment to undernourished children.
Under its Sahbhagita Yojana (co-participation scheme), the Uttar Pradesh government is giving Rs 900 per month to the people taking care of cows. As many as 66,257 cows have been given under this scheme while 1,071 cows have been distributed to 1,069 families of malnourished children, according to a senior government official.
“The state government launched the cow protection campaign in a big way, setting up cow shelters besides maintaining the existing gaushalas. The government also started schemes to make cow shelter homes financially viable,” the official said.
According to the Animal Husbandry department, there are 1.9 crore cows and 3.3 crore buffaloes in the state. Under the cow protection campaign launched by the UP government, 5,25,376 out of 11.84 lakh destitute cows have been conserved in cow shelter homes.
Ear-tagging of cows and buffaloes is being done by the Animal Husbandry department and this will literally work as an Aadhaar card for the animals.
Complete data of the domestic animals will be available online, including the owner’s identity and breed of the animal, the official said, adding that the problem of stray cows could largely be solved this way.
A total of 2,23,83,742 cows and buffaloes have been tagged in the state, out of which 95,77,781 are cows.
It is worth mentioning here that the UP government is the only government in the country which has promised to complete the ear tagging of the cows by March 31, 2021.
The chief minister also sought involvement of people’s representatives, administration and public in vaccinating cows at cow shelter homes. More than 3.34 crore cows and buffaloes have so far been vaccinated in the state in the last three-and-half years.
The Animal Husbandry department has received 52 applications for registration of cowsheds in the districts, out of which permission for 14 cowsheds has been given.
“MGNREGA has also been linked to cow shelter sites for maximum employment generation,” the official said.
Under the MGNREGA, about 3,116 projects are operating at cow shelters in the state. In addition, organic fertiliser is also being prepared at 1,056 cow shelter homes.