Youngsters herd 'selfie with cow contest' in West Bengal – Economic Times

Kolkata: A group of young professionals named Goseva Parivar has been travelling across West Bengal to spread awareness about the economic benefits of rearing a cow and about the financial losses a family can incur by selling or slaughtering her.

The cow protection campaign, which started with the ‘Selfie with Gomata’ contest in 2015, launched its ‘Selfie with Gomata, 2018’ on Sunday with a rider– save cow scientifically.

Slamming the use of force for “Gauraksha”, executive member of the group, Lalit Agarwal told ET, “Gauraksha using religious sermons is passé now. Exercising violence means to protect cows cannot be a sustainable way of Gauraksha. We are trying to reach farmers irrespective of cast, creed and religion and explain about the financial benefits of rearing a cow. We are also explaining what monetary loss a family would incur if they sell a cow or take her to the slaughter house. We are aiming at a complete stop of sale for slaughtering cows, but of course not through violent means.”

The contest ‘Selfie with Gomata’ had drawn at least 10,000 entries last year and crashed the group’s brand new app. “So, this year the entries would be received through Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook,” said Abhishek Singh, the in-charge of the contest.

“The primary reason of conducting this contest is to impart knowledge to people and make them aware of the benefits of protecting cows. Not for once have we mentioned any religious connection with Gomata or brought in references of Hindu gods and goddesses.”

The group claims that despite working with several organisations, it has never experienced any political influence or resistance in West Bengal while holding training camps in villages.

“We have installed 70 bio gas plants in four districts –West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Burdwan. In more than hundred villages, we have already set up camps and are also connecting city groups to farmers for better bovine trade. We are trying to make farmers understand that milk is not the only thing they can get from a cow. Cow urine and dung are the main products that they should use. Since the price of LPG gas and fertilisers are soaring, they can use bio-gas and fertilisers made from cow dung.

Even though we do not sell cow urine, we have taught them to process and filter cow urine to use it as medicine. We have got positive response from many Muslim families as well,” said Agarwal.

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