Lately, cows have been the hottest topic of discussion across the country. As the nation seem divided on the question of beef eating, the self-proclaimed gaurakshaks (protectors of cows) have been trying their best to bring cultural changes to save cows from slaughter. In such a socio-political scenario, a recent proposal by the Uttar Pradesh Government seems quite interesting.
Taking a step towards the welfare of jail inmates, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has proposed to set up gaushalas (cow shelters) in the district jails of the state. The work for a cow shelter is already in progress in Gautam Buddha Nagar jail.
Minister of State for Jails, Jai Kumar, has informed that all the jails have been examined to seek information about the possibility of setting up the shelters. It is notable that last year, BJP-ruled Haryana had implemented the proposal in their jails. Jai Kumar informed The Indian Express,
We have manpower and most jails have adequate land to set up gaushalas. Naini Jail in Allahabad already has a gaushala. We are looking at the possibility of starting gaushalas in other jails. Our plan is to run them with a little grant from the government and utilize the assistance from social workers and citizens.
Claims are being made that this measure will provide inmates with employment and their earnings will be deposited in their respective accounts. Products like gaumutra (cow urine) will be marketed which will create income opportunity for the inmates.
Jai Kumar also made it clear that this step has been taken to manage the time and the stress levels of the inmates who are otherwise troubled by their cases. He further elaborated upon the state’s strategy,
The cows that give milk will be kept there. We plan to use the gaushala also to help develop a model for organic farming in the agricultural land in jails. Cow dung will be used as fertilizer there in the fields to cultivate vegetables.
Agra, Moradabad, Lucknow, and Allahabad jails will be the first ones to get the cow shelter. CM Adityanath’s affection towards cows is quite well known. Therefore, the decision does not come as a surprise.