Our journey in Bundelkhand: Mid March to Mid April 2017

We took up the challenge to go Bundelkhand because of our very strong feelings to do something for Bundelkhand cows which are native breed of that area and suffering very much due to neglect of farmers who earlier kept them like their mother. This made us to leave our comfort zone in NCR and move ahead.

Though we were aware of the situation of cows in Bundelkhand but did not do anything till February 2017. One day in February 2017 we saw a video captured by Abhinav (received by us on Whatsapp) of a village Basauth in Mahoba Bundelkhand. The video showed how cows were confined by villagers at a small place to protect their crops. Arrangement of fodder and water was very poor. So many cows died of hunger and thirst and their skeletons were scattered there. we could not sleep that night after seeing the video and decided to do something to help out the situation.

We discussed the matter with Mr Ravi Shukla of village Terha over phone and got to know that situation of cows was same in almost all villages including Terha. We selected village Terha as start point of our action there. Before going to Terha we tried to pursue number of rich persons for them to take up a program for protecting these cows. We wanted to work in helping mode. But we could not convince them despite they were paying lot of money to Gaushalas. Then we tried to contact one of the best Gaushala, Mataji Gaushala Barsana for taking up some program there as they already manage Gaushala of around 45000 gauvansh and we told to provide full support to the best of our capability. But as most of the devotees there were not in favor to leave Braj Dham, we could not take their team with us.

Support from society for this program was mandatory for us as alone we were nothing seeing the volume of activities there. Therefore we started ‘own a cow‘ program and again Lord Krishna made us realized that how he helps. Within 3-4 days we got 30 owner of cows including us. This boosted our confidence and finally we left alone for Bundelkhand journey with team of 4 persons. We reached Terha at 4pm on 11th March 2017.  With help of Sh Ravi Shukla we organised two meetings with villagers of village Terha (morning 10 am) and village Para Raipura (Afternoon 4pm) on 12th March 2017.

We went there with aim to motivate villagers to create one Gaushala of their own in their village, as we believed that 10000 villagers of a village can keep 200-300 gauvansh if they join hands. That was the main focus of our programs held at Sri Ram Janki temple Terha Hamirpur and at government school of village Para Raipura Hamirpur. We adopted 30 cows in Para Raipura from a place where farmers confined more than hundred cows to protect their crops.

Initial responses from villagers of both villages were positive but finally villagers developed differences with each other and program of creating Gaushala by villagers could not be started. We thought that we will easily get farmer for 30 cows by paying them Rs 1100 per month which will be funded by our ‘own a cow’ program. But things are never easy, getting a farmer who really loves cow was not that easy as we expected. After discussing with them how they take cow we found most of them not suitable for this assignment. we afraid that these farmers may not take care of cows as we want.

As we were accountable for our 30 supporters so were very careful in farmer selection. We could identify only 6 farmers in last one month and thus could connect six donors under ‘own a cow’ program with them.  We are providing latest photos of cows to the donors every 10th day so that who has arranged feed for his cow may know how his cow is being kept by farmer. We will also facilitate visits to village if someone want to see his cow.

As injured cows are large in number there (due to use of razor wire as fence in field), we decided to start treatment of few cows at a time. Due to our limitations of funds/ resources going for large facility was not possible. We are sharing photos of treatment of Gaumatas  in this website to show that program is on and running and can be made bigger if more hands join. We are happy that at least few cows are being served by us.

Sh Ravi Shukla is managing our both programs e.g. searching a suitable farmer for ‘own a cow’ program and treatment of cows at village Terha.

Next question came where to keep the cured cows as it was very painful to release them once again to the same place from where we brought them. To our surprise we we could not get taker of one of our Gaumata whom we wanted to hand over  to a farmer under ‘own a cow’ program.

During our treatment we and mother cow both developed bond for each other. Earlier during treatment they were very aggressive but gradually they started reciprocating and became very affectionate. When we released one of the cured cow, after 10 days of treatment, she visited 3-4 times to our facility and we knew she wanted to stay with us but we did not have place to keep her? This led for thought to create a facility to keep the cured cows with us.

We got 1.2 Acre land at village Kandhauli so we started a project of constructing Gaushala. We appointed a part time manager Sh Sharad Dixit for construction and management of Gaushala. He opted not to marry so that he may lead undisturbed devotional life. In addition, he is an ardent cow lover. He is primarily busy in his devotional activities and accepted this responsibility on our request. We will pay him a very nominal amount per month. When we emphasized on him to accept suitable remuneration for his service, he requested us to fund the Bhagvat Katha program conducted at village Kandhauli on occasion of Maha Shiv Ratri every year till he is managing our activities. That we happily accepted.

Currently we are managing activities there over phone (we speak team there several time a day to understand and provide suitable resolution of problem if any). Also, once in 15 days we visit there for 2-3 days. To keep transparency we have told the team there to share photos and other details on regular basis. Same we keep on posting to social media.

Additionally, we are in touch with Mr Amit Sharma of Chattarpur Madhya Pradesh. Our next project will be working at Adivasi areas near Chitrakoot dham.

We want to submit here to all of you to consider this program to be your program. We are just like you and among you who with courage given by Lord took initiative in Bundelkhand. The activities are too much and we are very less in number. If you also come forward, visit Bundelkhand, see how the program can be made better, help in collecting funds, help in keeping records of income/ expenses, monitor the construction activities, monitor the treatment facility, help in expansion of treatment facility, motivate villagers to go for Gau Adharit farming, motivate villagers creating their own gaushalas so on. This small endeavour will become movement. It’s not an individual’s mission. This mission belongs to society as whole.