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Monday, Jan 20, 2020

Cow adoption scheme evokes lukewarm response in UP

  Updated: Oct 09, 2019 18:38 IST

The initial public response to the Yogi Adityanath government’s cow adoption project does not appear to be very encouraging despite authorities giving a push to the scheme in the two months since its launch, the figures cited by officials indicate.

The scheme was drawn up to overcome the problems arising due to the large number of abandoned cattle in the state.

Not more than 10,000 cattle have been adopted all over the state so far against the target of adoption of 100,000 abandoned cattle by the end of the current financial year.

“People have taken around 9,000-10,000 cows for adoption from various temporary shelters in rural and urban areas,” principal secretary, animal husbandry, BL Meena said.

“The scheme is being rigorously monitored at the chief secretary’s level to achieve the target of adoption of a lakh (100,000) cows by March 2020,” he added.

In the first week of August, the state government announced that people who adopted stray cattle from any cow shelter would get a monthly grant of Rs 900 per adopted animal for its upkeep. The announcement was made after the temporary shelters were flooded with abandoned cattle.

“We transfer the grant at the rate of Rs 900 per animal, per month through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) to the bank accounts of the individuals or institutions that adopt cattle from the shelters,” director, animal husbandry, UP Singh said.

He said all animals that were given up for adoption were necessarily ear-tagged.

“We keep tabs regularly about the well-being of cattle after they are given for adoption,” he said.

Prior to the grant scheme too, people could adopt cattle from shelters against certain terms and conditions, including that they would not allow any animal to be slaughtered. There are nearly 400,000 abandoned cattle in temporary shelters in Uttar Pradesh, according to data available with the animal husbandry directorate.

The adoption scheme is applicable to both bulls and cows. But the authorities have no record of the total male and female cattle currently lodged in shelters or the sex-wise adoption though sources said there were no takers for bulls.

“Even among the cows, people chose pregnant or milch cows for adoption,” those aware of the situation revealed.

They said the monthly Rs 900 grant came to Rs 30 per day per animal and this was not enough to feed a cow.

This low amount was discouraging individuals, dairy traders, organisations and others from adopting cows, they said.

Meena, however, said people should see cow adoption as a social service and think of ways to earn money from products like milk, urine and dung that they get from cattle.

He said more people, organizations and corporates must come forward to make their contribution to the cause.

“Some DMs have taken good initiatives at their level by roping in organisations to fund expenditure on the upkeep of cattle,” he said.

“Private companies can also dedicate a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to cow shelters,” he suggested.