My friend Dr. Tushar, a family doctor in Canada, organizes a wonderful volunteer opportunity to teach school children about health issues in rural Gujarat, as part of the Bidada health camp. He recently reached out with an email regarding the plight of Indian cows.
I volunteered with him in 2008 and remember visiting a panjra-pol at that time, and talked with the caretaker who informed me sadly that the capacity of the panjra-pol was limited, and that ultimately many of the cows had to be sold to slaughter.
Dr. Tushar’s post follows:
India has the highest population of cows in the world, over 280 million (or 28 crores). This is a massive number. Now here are a few facts. A cow in India can live for around 23 years. She starts producing milk at the age of around 4, and milk production lowers down at the age of around 12. Each year, as our slave, she must be forced to become pregnant and have a baby, which is taken away by force. Most cows are now brought up in very crowded conditions, and the percentage in humane conditions is becoming the exception rather than the norm. These cramped places are out of the public eye, because businesses do not want people to see what goes on there.