India’s first and only cow sanctuary will be inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar-Malwa district later this year.
By 2017, the sanctuary will also become a production centre to make cow urine and dung based ayurvedic medicines, cosmetic products, pesticides and bio- fertilizers on a mass scale in a first of its kind initiative by the state government, officials said.
The cow sanctuary located in the village Salriya of Agar-Malwa district, is spread over 472 hectares and will house 6,000 cows once fully operational. The project which was announced by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2008, is being implemented by Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samwardan Board. After preparing a detailed project report, work on the Rs 31.9 crore project started in 2013.
In December 2012, Chouhan and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had performed the bhoomi pujan for setting up the sanctuary. Sources said when the project was conceptualised after CM’s announcement in 2008 it was estimated to cost Rs 1.52 crore. However when Bhagwat expressed his desire that the project should be developed on a big scale, which should serve as a model for the whole country, the cost had to be scaled up.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest cattle population in the country, with over 1.96 crore cows.
Chouhan announced the sanctuary would have a research centre and a production unit besides being developed as a pilgrimage site.
Director animal husbandry Dr RK Rokde, who is also the managing director of Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samwardan Board, said, “We are calling it Gau Abyaranya , Anusandhan evam Utpadan Kendra (cow sanctuary, research and production centre). The sanctuary which has nearly 500 cows currently will finally have 6000 cows. The infrastructure for production unit has been set up.”
“In 2017, we will be in a position to start production of cow urine and cow dung based herbal products, Panchagavya based medicines, cosmetic products like soaps and shampoos, incense sticks, organic pesticides, cow-dung based bio-fertilizers, vermi-compost and so on.”
Dr Praveen Shinde, assistant director in the Board told HT that they will also appoint a marketing expert to boost sales and promotion of cow urine and dung based products.
“Besides, an expert of Ayurvedic medicines an agriculture scientist will also be appointed who will look after the research and production in the sanctuary. In case of medicines and cosmetics we will have to seek approval from the regulatory authorities concerned,” he said.
Dr Shinde said the state forest department and Indian Grassland and Fodder research institute Jhansi is helping the state government in growing different kinds of grass over 200 hectares of land in the sanctuary.