Aftab must be one those few people who gave up MBBS to study veterinary sciences. The decision was prompted by the death of his beloved calf that died due to want of treatment.
Aftab’s love for cows also made him relinquish his lucrative job in the gulf and brought him back to the country.
“I lost my calf, Ballu, in 1998. He suffered from anthrax and could not be treated in time as there was no vet in the area at that time,” recollects Dr Aftab Ahmed Khan.
Khan says that the incident affected him so much that he chose to become a veterinary doctor despite selected for a MBBS course in 1999.
Furthermore, Khan says that he inherited the love for cows and other animals from his mother. “My mother loved cows and other animals at our home and cared for them like her own children,” he says.
“It was her daily routine, after offering the fajr namaz (offered before dawn) she would feed cows and other animals. Even before having tea, she would give the animals water and fodder,” says the vet.
Khan too developed the habit of feeding Ballu gur (jaggery) and chapati before leaving for school.
A native of Jodhpur, Khan says that he gave up his jobs in Oman and UAE as he was asked to do ante-mortem duties there. “The duty was very distressing for me and filled me with remorse as I was certifying beef meat for human consumption,” says Khan.
He finally took a call and gave up the job and returned to India despite the fact that he was getting a monthly salary equivalent to over one lakh Indian rupees in the gulf.
Now, Khan is working with Tree of Life For Animals (TOLFA), an organisation in Kharekhari village in Ajmer, extending medical treatment and care to stray animals.
“Every day over 20 to 30 cows are brought here for various ailments,” said Khan. Last month, two cows were operated upon to extract polythene from their stomach, he added.
From a job involving certification of animals for slaughter, Khan now spends his day treating the animals, mostly cows, brought to TOLFA clinic every day.