AURANGABAD: Claiming to be descendants of Lord Krishna, residents of a village in Hingoli district of Maharashtra do not sell milk and give away the produce for free to anyone who is in need.
While farmers and leaders in the state agitated for a hike in milk prices earlier this month, residents of Yelegaon Gawali, where most of the households own cattle, have never sold milk.
"The name of the village Yelegaon Gawali itself means a village of milkmen.
We consider ourselves descendants of Lord Krishna and hence, we don't sell milk," said Rajabhau Mandade (60), one of the residents of the village, told PTI.
Although 90 per cent of the houses in the village have cattle, none of the residents sell milk and the tradition has been followed for generations, he said.
In case of excess production, different milk products are made, but none of it sold and they are distributed for free to people in need, the villager said.
"The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated on a large scale in the village, which has a Krishna temple.
However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all functions have been cancelled," he said.
Sarpanch of Yelegaon Shaikh Kausar (44) said the tradition of not selling milk has been followed by all villagers irrespective of their religion.
"None of the villagers, whether Hindus, Muslims or those belonging to any other religion, sell milk from their cattle," Kausar said.
At least 90 per cent of the 550 households own cows, buffaloes and some even have goats, he said.