By Amar Raj Naharki, Tanahun, Jan 12: Prajapati Sapkota of Dumshe, Byas Municipality-10, is elderly in himself. Maybe he knows what it feels to pass days for the elderly. Perhaps out of empathy, he takes care of old and abandoned cattle deserted by other human beings who utilized the youthful days of the cattle and deserted them when they turned old. With youthful enthusiasm, Sapkota has been tending ill and dumped cows and oxen in the area of Byas municipality.
It has been three years since Sapkota started caring for the straying cattle.
Work pressure on Sapkota has been growing as a tendency to chase away cows, the national animal, from the shed once the domesticated cows get old is on the rise.
‘These cows have to survive under the open sky with pains of hunger and disease. So I have devoted myself in the campaign to take care of them” he said.
The traditional way of ploughing with oxen has been replaced by tractors and the local cows give less milk. So many cows and oxen have been left stranded lately, added Sapkota.
Sapkota, also Chairperson of Gaumata Preservation Center, has kept 45 cows and oxen under his protection.
Sapkota has been working for three years to feed grass and straw by cutting them in pieces as the old Jersey cows cannot even graze and old oxen cannot munch long strands of grass.
After the jersey cows stop giving milk and oxen can no longer plough the field, the people find it easy to leave them on the streets rather take care of them as it is costly, he said.
"It is important to start a campaign to protect the cows as they are sick and hungry," said Sapkota. I got involved in tendering cows as I could not bear the negligence shown to them by the real owners.
Sapkota said he established the Center to launch a campaign for the protection and care of the old, sick cows and oxen. He invites people to celebrate their birthdays and other events such as the anniversary with the cattle, by feeding and taking care of them.
Jamuna Joshi, Chairperson at Alliance Club of Tanahunn, participated in the campaign and celebrated her birthday by feeding the abandoned cattle.
Sapkota said that innocent animals should not be abandoned and left to die. "This problem is prevailing across the country so the government should take necessary steps and should control the illegal sale of these innocent animals."
Byas municipality has provided some financial support to the center. It provided Rs. 1.2 million for fencing the Center where cows are protected and Rs. 200,000 for purchasing straw for the cows.
Nearly, there hundred ropanis of land of the Center that is situated in Shisuwa, Bhateri and near Madi river bank has been fenced as well.
Similarly, sheds have been built in the Center recently with the 5 lakh rupees grants provided by the Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Center.