Jharkand’s Cows Get 10 New Ambulances

Cows on Indian streets. Credit: McKay Savage, Wikipedia Commons

Cows on Indian streets. Credit: McKay Savage, Wikipedia Commons

With the cow at the centre of politics in the country recently, Jharkhand based industrialist and social worker, R.K. Agarwal, gave the gau rakshaks a reason to cheer by launching a fleet of ten cow ambulances. The fleet, consisting of ten Tata 407 mini-trucks, is meant to rescue cows off the roadside, or from slaughter houses.

Yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, who is currently in Ranchi, gave his blessing on Friday by handing over the keys of the fleet to the heads of ten cow shelters across the state, the Hindustan Times reported.

“We can’t protect cows if we act like terrorists,” Ramdev said on the occasion, adding that he wanted a ban on cow-slaughter and he would urge the prime minister towards this end.

“If ban is possible in Uttar Pradesh, why not in the rest of the country?” he asked.

The vehicles have been remodelled to fit the needs of an ambulance, and will come equipped with machinery to lift cows.

Agarwal, who is also the president of Jharkhand Pradeshik Goushala Sangh (JPGS), said, “It was my dream to do something for ailing, injured cows that are often abandoned as lifting and transporting them to a veterinary hospital is a cumbersome process.”

Declining to reveal the amount spent on the venture, he added, “Serving cows is like serving your own mother and hence no matter how much you spend, you want to see you mother healthy and happy.”

Agarwal has been fighting for the strict implementation of the cow-slaughter ban in Jharkhand. Incidentally, Agarwal was also the prime accused in the 2012 cash-for-vote scam.

JPGS will pay the operational costs for the ambulances for the first year, including the salary of drivers. The drivers have reportedly been trained to reach within two hours of receiving a call.

Jharkhand’s doctor-patient ratio is so low that there is only about one hospital per lakh people.