Had we been voters, we too would have been cared for (Kaash hamara bhi vote bank hota). This is the message going viral on social media these days where a picture of silent bovine standing in pain immediately catches reader’s attention. The blank eyes of these cows directly seem questioning humans if they shall ever help them in this hour of need.
The message is garnering traction at a time when cows continue dying in Rajasthan due to lumpy conditions as the state Government remains busy in tours to Delhi. The carcasses of cattle infected With Lumpy Virus can be seen dumped in the open in Rajasthan. However, the state Government ministers including CM are busy making tours to Delhi for Bharat Jodo Yatra and in playing games like Kabaddi in Rural Olympics being organised by state Govt.
Lumpy disease in fact has taken the form of an epidemic in cows in Rajasthan with thousands of cows dying silently while 11 lakh cows are sick. Its direct effect has fallen on the production of milk in desert state which has reduced by four lakh liters. In many districts, the milk supply has reduced by 50 per cent. As a result, Rajasthan’s largest dairy Saras has made milk costlier by Rs 2 per liter. Ghee production has also come down in the state as cows continue dying every day in every village, every house due to Lumpy.
Lumpy disease undoubtedly is wreaking havoc on cows in Rajasthan. The once beautiful desert of western Rajasthan is now giving a look of burial ground of cows as they are being dumped in open ground after their death. Bikaner in Rajasthan in fact is worst affected.
Thousands of cows have died due to the infection of lumpy disease in this district of Rajasthan. While 2500 cows have died in Government records so far, but the reality is very different from the Government figures. Every day about 200 cows are dying and the figure has reached 10000 to 20000 In Bikaner alone. The resources of the Municipal Corporation have fallen short to lift them.
The cows of Bikaner city are being dumped in the dumping yard in the jungle area, a short distance away from the city, where vultures can be seen feeding themselves on its flesh. These bodies of cows are being dumped in the open at a dumping site 10 km from Bikaner. The dead bodies of animals are lying in the forest area spread over 5646 hectares, due to which strong stench keeps emanating. Even the population near around is troubled. Apart from Bikaner city, the outbreak of lumpy is also strong in Lunkaransar, Khajuwala, Chattargarh, Nokha, Sri Dungargarh and Deshnok areas.
‘There is neither proper treatment facility nor is the state government paying attention to the vaccination of cows. Lakhs of cows have died and their carcasses are being disposed of in the open. The Gehlot Government is not able to provide land for disposal’
—Satish Poonia, Rajasthan BJP President
According to Government data, cows infected and cows dead due to lumpy skin infection are-:
In the city of Bikaner, the responsibility of lifting the carcasses of cows rests with the Municipal Corporation. A sanitation worker of the corporation said that every day two hundred to three hundred cows are being thrown in the Jobir area itself. At the same time, in rural areas, somewhere in the open, cows are being buried by digging pits with JCB machines. The carcasses of cows can be seen scattered at a distance from the National Highway in Lunkaransar. Similar situation is around Mahajan, Arjansar, Khajuwala, Chattargarh. Here too, cows are being thrown in the open or buried in pits at some distance from the cities.
In Arihant Nagar of Barmer city, the cows were being thrown in the open after death. When the local people protested, the burial of the cow was started. Such pictures have come out from Rohili village, where instead of burying the cows, they are being thrown in the open in big pits. About 20 to 25 cows were lying dead in a pit here. The pictures were so frightening as insects were seen crawling on the dead cows and the whole environment was getting polluted by the terrible smell.
The milk production of the district has halved due to the deaths of cows. Apart from this, dairy products like buttermilk, paneer butter, ghee have also been hit hard. The Milk Producers Co-Operative Union Saras Centre has seen a decrease in milk products including milk. Officials said that the lumpy disease spread in the cattle has affected the milk products. About 15 000 litres of milk used to be collected from different areas of the district, but now only 8 thousand litres of milk is available.
The cowherds who supply milk in the District Milk Producer Centres have been completely ruined due to the deaths of the cows. Even now the process of cows dying is going on in the district. Surprisingly, the Animal Husbandry Department is only including the death of cows during treatment in its figures. Whereas in different areas of the district, thousands of cows died whose data is neither with the Animal Husbandry Department nor with the Government, said official sources.
Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia has hit out at the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Government over its handling of lumpy skin disease and claimed more than 10 lakh cows have succumbed to the viral infection in the state. He said the disease is spreading rapidly across districts including Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jalore and Sirohi.
“There is neither proper treatment facility nor is the state government paying attention to the vaccination of cows. Lakhs of cows have died and their carcasses are being disposed of in the open. The Gehlot government is not able to provide land for disposal,” Poonia said.
According to an official report, 45,063 animals have died so far due to lumpy skin disease and 10,36,610 have been affected. Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Ramlal Sharma said, “No matter what claims the Government makes that only 47000 cows have died inside Rajasthan, a survey in Bikaner says around 90000 cows have died here. The Government should work to make proper arrangements for the livelihood of farmers and livestock farmers who have lost their cattle stock to the disease, he added.