Amid ongoing debate over cow protection and controversies over cow vigilantes a cow ambulance service is being started by the authorities in Madhya Pradesh


Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
File photo (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
File photo (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Bhopal: Amid ongoing debate over cow protection and controversies over cow vigilantes a cow ambulance service is being started by the authorities in Madhya Pradesh. The initiative has been taken by Khargone district administration, which has decided to start the ambulance for cows injured in road accidents and ailing bovines that need emergency medical care.

Cows getting injured or killed in road accidents has been a major concern in the state. Many times, if the cow or cows die in the absence of prompt medical attention, it leads to major tension and even violence by locals and cow vigilantes. Last year in August, a truck driver and helper jumped into Barna River in Raisen district after they ran over three cows on Jaipur-Jabalpur national highway to escape the angry mob. Later the body of the driver was found downstream.

Wilson Dawar, deputy director animal husbandry Khargone said, “A large number of cows are injured in road accidents. Though we have a veterinary hospital, the transportation of the injured cow is a big issue. How to lift and transport an injured cow to the veterinary hospital becomes a major stumbling block in saving it. Many cows die because they can’t be easily lifted and transported from the road to the hospital”, he said.

Dawar said under district ‘Gau Samiti’ the collector earmarked Rs 10 lakh for buying a specially designed ‘Gau-ambulance’.

“The ambulance will be fitted with a hydraulic lift powered lifting machine by which the injured cows would be lifted and ferried safely to the veterinary hospital. The cows would be lifted with ease no matter how heavy they are”, he said.

Dawar said the district administration was in touch with an Ahmedabad-based agency that will fit the hydraulic lift equipment on the vehicle which will be provided to them.

“We will send a vehicle to Ahmedabad where the hydraulic lift will be fitted. It will be ready in a month and delivered to us”, he said.

On how they thought of starting the ‘Gau-ambulance’ service, Dawar said owners of some cow shelters informed them that a similar ‘Gau-ambulance’ service was operating in Haridwar. “Taking a cue from this input, we sought detailed information and came to know about this company in Ahmedabad. After that we set the process in motion to get the special hydraulic lift fitted ambulance”, he said.

Such ambulances have also been started in other states earlier. In 2015, a Jharkhand-based industrialist-cum-social worker RK Agarwal had also come up with an ambulance service for bovines, with specially designed ten ambulances.

MP has the highest cattle population in the country, with 1.96 crore cows according to 2012 livestock census. Authorities and right wing activists are also worried over the decline in the population of cows here. In 2007, the population of cows in MP was 2.19 crore which came down to 1.96 crore in 2012.

Earlier this month MP cabinet approved a proposal to ban “Cow-killer” polythene bags in the state from May 1. Spokesperson of the state government and parliamentary affairs minister, Narottam Mishra said a large number of cows were dying due to polythene bags, prompting the state government to ban them.