Why is it that when it comes to cows, beef is the only problem that worries us. Who will speak about the milk-related malnutrition prevalent in the country? Gau rakshaks prove yet again why they are a farce.
Patanjali has announced plans to use artificial insemination to produce 92% of female calves. Yashpal Arya, the head of Patanjali’s dairy unit, has said that in 1940s, Brazilians visited India and had taken indigenous cows, which over a period has produced a rich pedigree of male and female calves due to selective breeding, balanced nutrition and care. Some serious research!
Patanjali believes that the importance of well-bred milch (milk-giving) cows will result in lesser cows being turned up to slaughterhouse.
In India, there are numerous gau shivirs (cow shelters) that rear and breed, keep cows in good care. But how is it that there is still milk-related deficiency in the country? Even if cows are protected from being sent to the slaughterhouse, why has been the dairy industry of India so inefficient in reaching out to millions of malnourished children? When will companies like Patanjali address these problems?
It is very clear that an increase in the intake of milk and milk products will increase the calorie consumption and lessen malnutrition. No complicated physics here. The why are these gau rakshas rakshaks so single minded in their concerns that they cannot see the high level of malnutrition in the country?
If gau mata is indeed the mata of every Indian, I must say that she has been made very irresponsible.
Even now the concern of Patanjali here is not to provide food security (in this case “milk” security). It’s only aim is to prevent beef production. Can’t get more obvious than this.
Patanjali is garnering support by playing along those nationalistic lines of “cow protection”. We would have been happier if the company would have announced that the cow milk generated will be transported to schools for midday meals.
The human brain reaches 90% of its development before the age of five. Brain’s development can be seriously compromised due to lack of proteins. Even Ayurveda, something that nationalist Hindu groups sponsor, has stated numerous benefits of cow milk – it is the next best thing to breast milk for a newborn.
Children in orphanages are the most prone to child malnutrition. As per the Juvenile Justice Act 2000, every child has to be given 150 ml of milk every morning, but many orphanages say that they have no money to provide milk.
These gau rakshaks, instead of fighting so passionately over beef or flogging Dalits for transporting cows should instead concentrate on setting up milk banks that provide low-cost high quality milk to children at an extremely subsidized rate. The government should then tie up with these gau shivirs to provide quality milk to mothers every month for each preschool child in the family.
That will do far more good to the country than dividing the country on religious lines.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.