Spreading a message of interfaith peace and harmony, the Muslim Educational and Welfare Society of Jodhpur operates a cow shelter that is the region’s biggest, and cares for over 200 cows most of whom are old and sick and attended to by a team of veterinarians. The general secretary of the Society Mohammad Atique says taking care of cows is like taking care of mothers, and is part of the shared culture of Hindustan.
Each day truck loads of fresh green fodder feed the cows that are taken to the shelter from across the city by the shelter team in specially designed vehicles, that carry the cows most of whom are abandoned by their owners after they stop lactating.
The Society even treats cows with kheer on auspicious days like Eid, and they are engaged in vaccinations and treatment of the cows in nearby villages. They spend a little over a lakh on the cows each month and are planning to double the figure.
On a portion of 56 acres of the Maulana Azad University campus, Mr Atique is developing a cow research centre under the department of agriculture in his university, though some elements had objected to the shelters saying the society is running a beef business in the guise of a shelter.
However over the years the society has won the admiration of most people.
Mr Atique who says many of his university students have volunteered to serve at the shelter finds it odd that an animal whose milk is the next best after mother’s milk, can be used to incite communal controversy.