VISAKHAPATNAM: With reference to the recent death of a male calf at the foothills, the authorities of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam (SVLND) are now requesting devotees not to donate calves, cows or oxen as a votive offering. There is a tradition in north Andhra to donate calves, cows and oxen as votive offering.
The SVLND does not receive a number of foreign crossbred calves, cows and oxen in the temple. It will accept only the indigenous breeds as votive offerings as per the Vaidika- Aagama dharma sastra norms. Moreover, devotees also donate some genetically defective calves too and all these animals were becoming a burden on the SVLND as a number of caretakers (Gopalakas) and meadows are required to look after the animals.
The Devasthanam is not in a position to protect and give proper nourishment to all the animals donated by the devotees. Meanwhile, some weak and malnourished calves are dying within a few days of bringing them to the SVLND cow protection centre. Earlier, a large number of cows and calves died as the Devasthanam was unable to protect the donated cattle in a proper way in summer. The SVLND shifted its cow protection centre from Nandanavanam area to the present Nrusimha Vanam ‘Gau Shaala’ near Krishnapuram.
At present, the Simhachalam Devasthanam tends around 250 fine breed indigenous cows with adequate drinking water and fodder and are being looked after by caretakers round-the-clock. Rest of the cattle donated by the devotees have been shifted to the Agency areas and there they were distributed free of cost among the tribal farmers on producing the Aadhaar and ID cards.