Kailash Singh Choudhary, 44, had rushed to the rescue of two calves stuck in the muck on Hingonia cow rehabilitation centre premises on Friday. At least 500 bovines starved to death in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation-run centre after they were caught neck-deep in cow dung and fodder that had turned slushy due to rainwater seepage.
“I have been coming here for the last few days to help in the rescue operation, but what I saw today has left me shaken. Two newborn calves trapped in the mud were bawling and their mothers were nowhere to be seen, probably because they were dead. I have been trying to feed them milk ever since they were rescued, but one of the calves is very sick and I don’t think it will survive,” said Choudhary, who runs a small cow shelter at Vidhyadhar Nagar that nurses sick cows.
“I have no words to describe what I am seeing here. It is a shame that because of the mismanagement of the authorities, these animals have to suffer,” he said.
Dhaba owner Babulal Saini, who also had rushed to the rescue of the animals from the quicksand-like mud, said: “In some of the places I saw crows and dogs feeding on the dead cows. There is no one to dispose the carcasses.”
According to sources, there was no one to take care of the cows for last 15 days as the 266 caretakers responsible for the feeding the cows at the shelter went on strike to protest against the non payment of salaries for May and June.
Chairman of animal control and conservation committee of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation, Bhagwat Singh Deval, blamed mayor Nirmal Nahata for the deplorable condition at the shelter house. “No facilities have been provided by the JMC and even after our repeated attempts cows are dying every day. The administration and bureaucracy of the JMC are directly responsible for this sorry state of the cow rehabilitation centre… Since the mayor is at the helm of the JMC, it is his responsibility to assure that the animals don’t suffer,” he said.
The Congress also targeted the BJP government over the issue. “The BJP asks for vote in the name of gau mata, but the government is doing nothing even as countless bovines are dying daily here. I would say that the BJP government is a government of cow killers. We will raise this issue in the upcoming monsoon session of the parliament and will corner the government until we get a satisfactory answer,” said leader of Opposition in the state assembly Rameshwar Dudi. He along with other Congress councillors of the JMC inspected the Hingonia cow rehabilitation centre on Friday.