UP teachers asked to donate fodder to feed cows kept in govt shelters
The letter of the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Sant Kabir Nagar has created a furore among teachers as it clearly asked them to “at least” donate one quintal of fodder for the cows
Struggling to feed the cows kept in the state-run shelters, the Uttar Pradesh government has asked school teachers to donate one quintal of fodder for these animals.
The letter of the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Sant Kabir Nagar stating the same has created a furore among teachers as it has explicitly asked the teachers to “at least” donate one quintal of fodder for the cows kept in the government-run cow shelter.
One quintal of fodder costs anything between Rs 800-Rs 1000.
The letter, released on May 24, 2022, says that teachers should donate one quintal of fodder for the Gauvansh (cow). In that letter, Dinesh Kumar, the BSA, said that the district magistrate, Sant Kabir Nagar, has asked him to arrange fodder for the cows kept in government cowsheds.
“The teachers should donate one quintal of fodder as this is an ambitious scheme of the state government,” he said.
The letter further says that the DM had asked all concerned departments to ensure that sufficient fodder is stored in the Mandi Samiti, Khalilabad as per the allotted target.
District magistrate of Sant Kabir Nagar, Divya Mittal finds nothing new in this order as she claims that this practice was going on across the state. “This is a voluntary act. We are not forcing anyone to compulsorily give fodder to cows. Orders have been issued to all the government departments to voluntarily contribute fodder for the cows kept in the shelter,” she said.
However, senior officials in Lucknow have no knowledge about this scheme. Education Minister Rajani Tiwari said that she will examine the issue and if need be corrective steps should be taken.
A primary school teacher on condition of anonymity revealed that the letter does not talk about a voluntary role, instead, it is an order. Principals have been asked to make a list of teachers who will donate the fodder.
“Another problem is that there is a scarcity of fodder in villages this year. Because of mechanized harvesting, fodder is very less. From where do we get fodder now,” she said.
Interestingly, stray cattle are a big issue in Uttar Pradesh. In the last assembly election, opposition parties raised this issue forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare that the BJP government would look for a permanent solution to this issue. But, the Yogi government has so far failed to come up with a solution. The government has asked people to adopt cows and for that, it has announced financial help of Rs 30 per cattle per day. This scheme failed to attract people as they believe at Rs 900 per month, they cannot feed the cattle.
The government has also imposed a 2 per cent cess on the purchase of beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor to create a corpus for cow protection.
According to government dossiers, there are 5,000 temporary cow shelters having roughly 300,000 cattle, there are 92 ‘kanha gaushalas’ run by state municipal bodies, housing nearly 21,000 cattle. Besides, 434 ‘kanji houses’ (stray cattle houses) are operational in UP, which have more than 3,600 cattle. In this manner, the total strength of stray cattle living in government-supported cattle shelters stands around 330,000, the dossier said.
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