Help Abhinav Save Cows Being Starved in Bundelkhand, India

Hello! My name is Abhinav Srihan and I am an animal rescue volunteer in India. I want to give you a glimpse of a silent saga of suffering and death that has been unfolding in the very heart of India. 

With each passing year, drought has been intensifying in the Bundelkhand region of India. In the scorching summers the temperatures go up to 50°C and all the ponds and wells in villages run dry. Villagers no longer have fodder or water for the cattle.  As per an old tradition called Anna Pratha, all the cattle are rounded up and incarcerated in enclosures to prevent them from grazing on the remaining grass and crops in the fields. They are supposed to be provided with dry fodder and water, until the rains come. But the rains hardly every come! Both fodder and water have become increasingly scarce. The cows are still being incarcerated in enclosures but nobody brings them food or water - they are left there to starve.

Day after day, the cows sit in their deserted enclosures, the sun beating down hard on their parched bodies, waiting for someone to bring respite. But neither god nor man has mercy for these forsaken, forgotten ones. Only death brings respite. But even death doesn’t come so easy. Those who have seen a cow starve to death would know – first they become immobile and sit there for days, then they collapse and lie panting for days, their bellies bloat, their vital organs slowly bleed and rupture from the pressure of the gas, finally they have seizures that can last up to hours and then death comes. Some respite! 

Last year 3,00,000 cattle died in Bundelkhand (as per official estimates). This year, 500 have already fallen and the summer has only begun. I have been going from enclosure to enclosure in the worst-hit Mahoba district, reporting live on my Facebook Page. The media has now finally started to cover the situation (see here and here). Most of incarcerated cows will die waiting, if help doesn’t arrive. 

I, with a group of volunteers, and hired daily wagers, have been providing fodder and water in some of the enclosures ( See video here and here). We are also lobbying with the local administration to set the animals free so that they can at least fend for themselves for a few more months. A tiny victory came, when we were recently able to free the cattle in Chichara village in Mahoba. But thousands still remain locked up, waiting silently for help. You can make this wait end!

We urgently need funds to bring feed and water to the cows. As little as $10 (Rs 660), can feed one cow for a month. Please donate generously and help us bring respite to the waiting cows.

I have asked Divya Narain and Anusha Narain to help me with this campaign you may contact us with any questions you may have.

The Wire ran a story on cows being starved to death in Bundelkhand
The Wire ran a story on cows being starved to death  in Bundelkhand
Ask for an update
16th March 2017
Update 16th March

Just a quick update! The first tranche of money has reached the field team and they are using it to order fodder trucks and water tankers for the cows still locked up in Mahoba. The money is also being used to pay the huge bills that have been piling up. Abhinav and his team had been providing emergency life-saving support to the cows on credit, never knowing that wonderful people like you will lend a hand.

It is so heartwarming to know that at least a few people care for a cause so neglected. When we first started the campaign, we were skeptical - who would care about old dry cows starving and dehydrating to death in the hinterland of India? They are not charismatic like tigers or cute like pandas. But you proved us wrong! Your support keeps us going. We are now planning to extend our work to Karnataka, where the scale and severity of the problem is much worse. At least in Bundelkhand, fodder is available to buy. But in Karnataka, the earth is merciless - nothing has been growing. Fodder has to be brought in from far off places. Groups working there feel that their hands are tied - they can't do much even if they want to. But people like you give us hope. Over the next few weeks, some of us will be in Karnataka doing whatever we can to help the cows.  

Here are a few soul-satisfying pictures of cows being fed green grass in Mahoba. We will post more pictures soon!

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Rs.359,777
raised of Rs.500,000 goal

138 Supporters

7 Days to go

Payment options: Online, cheque pickups

Beneficiary: Abhinav Srihan info_outline

Supporters (138)

A
Anonymous donated Rs.800
PP
Preeti donated $100

Thank you for what you do Abhinav. Thank you.

A
Anonymous donated Rs.2,500
AK
ABHINAV donated Rs.500

GOOD JOB BROTHER , KEEP IT UP.

Piyush
Piyush donated Rs.2,500

Together we can...

Devi
Devi donated Rs.500