Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11 asserted that livestock had always been vital for the rural economy in India and stressed that his seriousness towards protection of cows could be gauged by the vaccination scheme introduced by the government.
Citing a scheme run by the Rwandan government to tackle malnutrition and poverty through the distribution of cows to elaborate on the role of cows in the rural economy, Mr. Modi explained that as per Rwanda’s scheme a cow was donated to each household.
The first calf produced by the cow is then given to the government, which then donates it to other villagers who don’t have a cow.
‘Works like a chain’
“This works like a chain,” Mr. Modi said, praising the Rwandan model for creating a network of employment. This also helped ensure that the cow, livestock and milk production become a part of the rural economy, he added, speaking at the launch of the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NACDP) in Mathura. The program aims to control and eradicate the Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis among livestock in the country.
‘Created a storm’
Asserting that “some people created a storm” after he had visited the African country last year and donated “250 cows” to its villagers, Mr. Modi said it was unfortunate that there were some in the country who were critical of the Centre’s cow conservation policies.
“Some people, the moment the words Om and gai (cow) fall on their ears, their hair stands on end. They think the country has gone [back] to the 16th and 17th centuries,” asserted Mr. Modi.
It was people with such views who left no stone unturned to “destroy” the country, the Prime Minister contended.
Plastic in cows bodies
Later in the evening, Mr. Modi tweeted that he was saddened to see heaps of plastic being removed from the bodies of cows being operated at the Pashu Arogya Mela in Mathura.
“This is deplorable and should inspire us to work towards reduced and careful plastic usage,” the PM tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assists women segregate plastic waste in Mathura on September 11, 2019. Photo: PIB/PTI
‘Krishna as role model’
In Mathura, Mr. Modi also said that while the world was searching for a role model to protect the environment, India had always had “an inspiration” in Lord Krishna. Imagining Lord Krishna without [his] “love for environment” would be incomplete, the PM said.
More than 600 million cattle in the country are set to be vaccinated in an effort to mitigate the two diseases, Brucellosis and FMD (locally known as muh paka bimari), as part of the Centre’s ₹12,652 crore programmes.
The PM also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme and a countrywide workshop in the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in all the 687 districts of the country on vaccination and disease management, artificial insemination and productivity.
The Swachhta hi Seva Programme was also launched by him with the focus on reducing the usage of Single Use Plastic in the country. The PM appealed to people to rid their homes, offices and workplaces of single use plastic by October 2.
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