NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh wants to build 120 Kamadhenu Nagars in India in the next few months as part of overall efforts to venerate the sacred animals and make their life more comfortable, besides bringing them closer to the people.
This strategy, it’s hoped, will also help reduce crime and reform convicts. The Kamadhenu Nagars are gaushalas, or homes for cows, attached to residential colonies.
“Cows can be protected only when they become an integral part of everyday lives,” said Shankar Lal, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gau Sewa, an RSS affiliate. “We are in talks with gated communities and residential areas that are ready to allot a part of their land to cow sheds. These gaushalas will provide milk, medicines, milk products and gobar gas to these colonies and in turn the colonies will help in the upkeep of the cow sheds.”
The Sangh has identified more than 100 potential sites in West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“The cows kept in the shed will be of the pure Indian variety, which will ensure people, especially children of the locality, get the required nutrition,” Lal said. “For a crime-free Bharat, it is necessary that our children drink only Indian cow’s milk because it makes them saatvik (virtuous). By drinking the milk of Jersey cows and buffaloes, their minds get harmful ideas, which make them criminals.”
The Sangh also plans to start 80 Gokul Gurukuls (schools with cow sheds) in major residential schools this year.
There is nothing better than growing up with cattle. It is part of our tradition. We already have such schools in Bankedi and Gwalior,” Lal said. All this is part of the Sangh’s 18-point agenda to protect cows. The strategy includes increasing cow-based farming, building cow sheds in jails, a scholarship exam on cows for school students, a university to study cow science, a cow sanctuary in every state and weekly gau kathas in temples.
“The number of cows in the past 60 years has come down to 15 crore from 70 crore. This is dismal. Many businessmen are willing to help us in the protection of cows. We need a systematic plan across states, hence the 18-point agenda, which is being taken forward to all NGOs affiliated to the Sangh,” Lal said. The Sangh is also in talks with state governments to hold a ‘gaugyaan pariksha’ every year to test students on their knowledge about the religious and social significance of cows.
“Such an exam was held in Rajasthan recently. Over 3 lakh students took the test. We want it to be held in other states too so that children take an interest in the significance of cows,” said Abhinav Sharma, an RSS pracharak associated with cow protection. The Sangh has also planned an annual Gau Sangam to bring together all the NGOs working for cow protection.
Cow sheds in prisons will help reform convicts. “Serving the cows will truly bring a change in the attitude of prisoners. It has been successful in states such as Madhya Pradesh,” Lal said.
The Sangh has prepared a consolidated list of 104 products that include phenyl, beauty items, mosquito repellents and medicines that various NGOs affiliated to it have made from cows. To take forward the plan, saints and religious heads have been asked to hold weekly gau kathas in temples and ashrams to spread the word on the religious, cultural and economic importance of the cow to common people. “We are asking our NGOs to give every household with at least five acres of land, two cows. We will also train the family to make and sell cow products so that they would never think cow is a burden on them,” Lal said. The RSS plan also involves innovations such as a tractor hauled by bullocks that will help farmers go back to cattle-based agriculture.