Cow Protection : Maha govt to rope in NGOs for welfare of bovine population

Mumbai: It’s an innovative way of getting the job done without being involved in the business. The BJP-led Maharashtra government has decided to outsource cow protection and welfare of its bovine population to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), who will be responsible for ensuring that those under its care are not sent to slaughter houses.

Under a new scheme that has been floated by the Fadnavis regime, the NGO will have to first build cow protection homes for which they will be given of Rs one crore each. The funds are meant for the 34 districts in Maharashtra and doesn’t include Mumbai and suburban Mumbai.

“The ban on cow slaughter has compelled owners of weak and infirm cattle to keep them despite high medical expenditure. Surprisingly, gau rakshak groups who are otherwise active and vigilant have not approached us so far for the funds,” said a source at the Mantralaya, adding that a few gau rakshak organisations have got in touch with the govern-ment saying thay want land to put up sheds in towns and cities and not villages. “We have made it clear that land can only be earmarked in villages, not cities,” the source said.

There is a rider in the government’s scheme of things, though. Only NGOs registered with the Charity Commissioner would be eligible for funds. Plus, the NGOs must possess at least 15 acres of land and a certain amount of money to come under the cow protection scheme.

However, there are allegations that existing registered cow protection homes —there are 518 in the state — have not been given any financial help till now.