MEERUT: Plagued by abandoned cattle, which often go astray and ruin crops in the farms of Baghpat’s Rehtana village, residents got together to come up with a unique initiative to stop people from letting go of their cattle. In a panchayat held here on Sunday, villagers were asked to volunteer to take in cattle and take care of them at their homes, which in turn will get them Rs 3,100 per cow. Meanwhile, a decision was also made to ensure that Rs 5,100 will be taken as fine from those villagers who abandon their cows henceforth. Erring residents will also have to clean the entire village for two days.
The reward money was collected by the villagers from among themselves.Bharatveer Singh, pradhan of Rehtana said, “At the panchayat, I volunteered and took in two cows, and then others volunteered too.”Om Prakash, one of the villagers who adopted a cow said, “The government closed down illegal slaughter houses and banned sale of cows for slaughter, but did not come up with gaushalas across the state, making these animals homeless. This is why cows which have stopped providing milk are let out in the open and harm standing crops. Since, the villagers couldn’t collect enough money to construct a gaushala, this unique initiative was decided in the panchayat. This act will bring blessings to us all as we will be involved in animal care.”Satyapal Singh, Baghpat MP and Union minister of state for human resource development said, “This is a great initiative and people who want Baghpat to be developed should support such causes, as well as villages like Rehtana which come up with such initiatives.”