BHOPAL: The inaugural meeting of the first of its kind Gau cabinet (cow cabinet) took place in Bhopal with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the chair on Sunday. But owing to safety norms, amid surge in COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh, the first meeting of Gau Cabinet was virtual instead of being held at the Cow Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district.
The Gau cabinet, which comprised of ministers of six departments, arrived at a slew of decisions, which were later announced by the CM at a crowded program at the Cow Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district.
Aiming to work for conservation and protection of cows, the Gau Cabinet resolved to start 2000 gaushalas (cowsheds) in the state, which will be managed by the government in association with competent and willing voluntary organizations and self-help groups.
Further, the meeting also mulled that Cow Cess may be levied to raise financial resources, if necessary for running gaushalas and for cow protection and promotion. While imposing the cess, care will be taken not to let the financial burden fall on the common man.
“There was a time, when every individual rendered the first roti of the meal to cow and the last roti to dogs, but now it doesn’t happen. Maybe we’ll make the people contribute financially for the care of cows, but it will be ensured that they aren’t pained by it. We won’t allow any cow/cattle to be shelter-less for which we’ve targeted 2000 gaushalas to be managed and operated by government in association with self-help groups,” Chouhan announced later at the gathering to mark the Gopashthami festival the Salaria Cow Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district.
“Cow protection and conservation is essential for the dream of Atmanirbhar Madhya Pradesh. The sacred cow will strengthen the economy. Cow milk is nectar. Cow milk can be used extensively to eliminate malnutrition. Only milk and not eggs will be served to kids at Anganwadis to combat malnutrition. Cow dung is a lifeline for agriculture. By using it to make manure, the use of chemical fertilizer can be reduced.”
“By manufacturing gau-kasht on a large scale from cow dung and using it, the use of wood can be reduced. I appeal to people to use cow dung cakes instead of wood to lit-up the funeral pyres of their loved ones to ensure a clean and safe environment and save our forests,” Chouhan said.
While resolving to work for using milk, cow dung and gau-mutra along with cow protection and promotion for human welfare with total seriousness in the state, the CM also announced that every district collector will appoint a nodal officer who will keep tab on working of gaushalas and care of cows there. “Efforts will also be made to promote use of phenyl made from cow urine in government offices across the state,” announced Chouhan.
The Gau Cabinet also decided to set up Gobar gas plants, such plants can be installed in villages. Connections will be given to rural families through these gobar gas plants. Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Science Centre will be established on the lines of Agriculture Science Centre in Salaria cow-Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district through Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University, Jabalpur.
The cabinet also decided to formulate an action plan for conserving and promoting the state's four native breeds of cattle - Malvi, Nimari, Kankatha and Gaolo. The plan will also entail increasing milk production through these breeds.
In urban areas, the entire responsibility of providing shelter and maintenance of stray cattle will be entrusted to the urban bodies keeping in mind their financial resources. This will ensure shelter to the stray cattle, which wander on the roads and also prevent road accidents.
Grassland will be developed in the degraded forests falling under the Forest Department. Fodder production will be increased and sent to gaushalas.