Vrindavan, 2017.01.01 (VT) The heads of Vrindavan’s goshalas discussed ways of making cow farming sustainable during a 3-day conference at the Vrindavan Research Institute. The conference, entitled “Make Vrindavan Village” was organized by BLISS, the Bhaktivedanta Learning Institute for Self-Sufficiency. The purpose was to discuss the future of cow protection in Braj, where rapid urbanization is making the rural cow-centered agricultural lifestyle and ideal that is becoming increasingly difficult to realize.
The conference began on Friday and was attended by goshala (cow sanctuary) operators and prominent environmentalists such as Paramadwaiti Maharaj, as well as Government officials, including the Mayor of Mathura-Vrindavan, Dr Mukesh Aryabandhu, and State Goseva Commission Chairman, Rajeev Gupta.
Chairman Gupta said that goshala operators can apply for grants to expand their goshalas. The application for the grant is available from the Animal Husbandry website and should be submitted before the 30th January. The grant will be released in March or early April. Gupta said that there are around 500 goshalas registered in the State and that the Government is working to support them.
The Chairman also announced that cow grazing land that has been illegally occupied will be cleared within a month and that the Forestry Department will free up land near highways and canals for the purpose of cow grazing.
Haryana Goseva Commission Chairman, Bhaniram Mangla, and Kamdhenu Trust President, Dr Naresh Sharma, spoke about ways of making goshalas economically viable. Some of the ideas discussed were the production of cooking gas from cow dung and the production of high quality vermi-compost, which uses cow dung as fodder for worms. The worms ingest the cow dung and produce a more concentrated fertilizer that can be easily sold per kilo.
Mayor Aryabhandu showed his support for the goshalas of Braj by saying that Sri Krishna set an example of importance of worshiping and protecting cows, so, the tradition of cow protection has been passed down to us from Dwarpa Yuga.
Dr, Naresh Sharma spoke about the Kamdhenu Mangal Parivar’s work in the Delhi region and elsewhere providing veterinary care free of cost to farmers and other householders, as well as goshalas. He spoke of his own scientific research into the benefits of cow milk over buffalo, etc.
Radha Krishna Pathak, the Secretary of Shri Panchayati Goshala, which is near the Vrindavan train station, spoke of the various programs that this goshala, one of the oldest in Vrindavan, is undertaking in the Braj region. The program was attended by a representative of Mataji Goshala in Barsana, which is probably the biggest goshala in Braj with nearly 50,000 animals, taking distressed cows and bulls from surrounding States, as well from Braj. Sudevi Dasi, who has her own goshala in Radha Kund, addressed the problem of poor families who feel the need to maintain a cow when there are growing children, but as soon as the cow is unable to give milk, it is released to wander in the streets. Unless something can be done about the attitude that a cow is only good for the milk that it gives, then who will keep a cow once it is barren?
Paramadwaiti Maharaj spoke about the garbage problem as something that needed to be solved, in particular the use of plastic, which is a major cause of suffering and death for street cows.