Gauseva A step towards socio-economic upliftment
Free Distribution of Bullocks to Tribal Farmers:
A unique project by Gauseva & Gauchar Vikas Board, Gujarat
It is well known that under the visionary leadership of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and present Prime Minister of our beloved Nation, Narendra Modi, Gujarat is pioneer in introducing unique schemes and projects for Gauseva, Gau Raksha, Gopalan & and Gau-based economical, social, environmental and spiritual transformation for a happy, healthy and divine society.
Among various new schemes, the dynamic chairman of Gauseva & Gauchar Vikas Board, Gujarat, Former Union Minister & MP, Dr.Vallabhbhai Kathiria introduced a scheme to distribute bullocks free of cost for benefits of farmers in the tribal areas of Gujarat.
It is unfortunate that primarily male calves and bullocks are victims of illegal slaughter because of the wide-spread use of modern technology in agriculture, considerably reducing the use of oxen for agriculture and transportation. On other hand, the huge number of oxen and male calves are left at the mercy of Panjarapols/Gaushalas (Cow shelters) generally run by philanthropic trusts and NGO’s. These oxen are, in fact, burden to them because of non-utility.
At the same time, it is also true that small and marginal farmers, especially in tribal areas, still perform agriculture and transportation activites by oxen. Initially, we explored the idea of free distribution of bullocks to the needy and willing farmers, especially to tribal farmers, on moral the binding not to sell the oxen till death.
To start with, initially the bullocks are selected by the farmers under the supervision of NGO’s – trusts from Panjrapols/Gaushalas which showed generosity to donate the male calves and bullocks free of cost with good faith. These procured male calves and oxen are then distributed to tribal farmers.
Adivasi Jan-utthan Trust & Soham Adhyatmic Trust worked as mediators to convince the management of Panjrapols/Gaushalas and inspire farmers for bullock-farming and keep stringent monitoring and follow up.
This Innovative project started in 2012. It took hardly two to three months to formulate the scheme, design the strategy and implement the project. From time to time, the scheme was reviewed improved, expanded and incorporated more stakeholders, trusts and Gaushalas. It started showing its manifestations in very next six months after the monsoon season and showed economic benefits. The project is going on exploring the new avenues for more and more tribal farmers. From year 2012 onwards, it have been continuously growing bigger and faster.
Adivasi Jan-utthan Trust, Bhekhadia, Vadodara has distributed 13029 bullocks & calves in 817 villages to 12989 beneficiary farmers under this project. The project is still going on. Similarly, Soham Adhyatmic Trust, Narmada has distributed more than 2000 bullocks to 150 villages of tribal districts in Gujarat. The results are verified by Shri Bidada Panjarapol and Gaushala Trust, Kutch. Thus, more than 15000 bullocks and calves are distributed free of cost. Considering the average cost of one calf or bullock is Rs 20,000, total project cost reaches upto Rs. 30 Crores.
Initially, the management of Panjarapols/Gaushalas were suspicious about the scheme. They were skeptical about the mentality of tribals. They suspected that the bullocks may be sold for slaughter instead agricultural use. The second hesitation was whether they will financially afford to feed and keep them alive life-long. The third resistance was from Gau-Raksha teams working voluntarily with various organisations to protect the cows and its progeny from slaughter. They were reluctant to believe such scheme can actually work. The fourth resistance was from bullock traders and the middle men and political exploiters in tribal areas whose livelihood is dependent on tribal community. The fourth resistance was from stake-holder farmers themselves who were suspicious about real implementation and feasibility of the scheme, especially their capabilities of keeping and nurturing the bullocks. Even the department officers and police had great doubt about the success of the project.
But the Gaushala/Panjrapol management had full confidence on the Chairman and his credentials. They were convinced that their burden was reduced to sizable extent. They secretly visited the villages and checked the real utilisation, position and impact of the scheme. The Gaurakshaks were positively convinced that this is the real and practical way of prevention of the cow slaughter. After full conviction, they helped in smooth movement through transport from Gaushalas to villages. Some of them even started counseling and convinced others regarding the scheme. As a result more and more Gaushalas came forward to join this scheme. Within a short span of six months, more and more stake-holders came forward observing the successful implementation of the scheme and tangible benefit to them by economical empowerment. As it happens usually, the Government officials and Police Department helped for better implementation of scheme later on.
The real innovation of this scheme lies in the free distribution strategy of unproductive male calves and bullocks to hard-pressed tribal farmers thereby reducing the burden of Gaushalas- Panjarapols. The strategy presents a win-win solution for both, the Gaushalas/Panjarapols and tribal farmers. This is so because the Gaushalas/Panjarapols are relieved from the burden of maintaining the unproductive male calves and bullocks, and on the other hand it equips the tribal farmers with bullocks who otherwise cannot afford to buy bullocks thereby increasing their productivity and socio-economic status.
In reality, it is the first of its kind innovative programme for economic and social development of tribal community. The farmer has to bear the only transport expense, thus having the sense of owning,
The farmers themselves goes to Gaushalas/Panjarapole with truck; they themselves, select the male calf or bullock from herd; transport them to their respective village. Thus, the stake-holders are involved. The group of youth is engaged in total management and implementation, thus empowering the human resource. The Farmers take care of the calves as their family members. They do ploughing and transportation. The urine and dung is used as bio-insecticide and bio-fertilizer. Their crop productivity and income is increased, the life-style and social status is improved. Moreover, the youth which was diverting to naxalism and anti-rich mentality, turned towards real constructive work
of agriculture. This project integrated them for national unity, peace and growth. Even, they started worshiping the cows again with understanding of its importance, spiritually.
by Dr. Vallabhbhai Kathiria