The Uttar Pradesh government has come up with a new solution to tackle the stray cattle menace: Putting them up for adoption. And those who sign up for the scheme stand to earn up to Rs 3,720 a month for their troubles.
The scheme called 'Nirashrit/Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita Yojana' was introduced on August 8, but the execution order was issued on September 9, IANS reported. The Yogi Adityanath government will pay Rs 30 per day per cow for maintenance to those who are willing to adopt them. People living in semi-urban and rural areas can adopt up to four stray cows, bulls and calves.
And there are plenty of people lining up for adopting cows. "We [the Lucknow Administration] have received 1,500 adoption applications, mostly from farmers and landless daily wage earners," Chief Veterinary Officer Tej Singh Yadav told the news agency. He added that the scheme will add to their income and will help control stray cattle, responsible for damaging crops in villages and causing accidents in city.
Of the 24,940 animals caught so far in Lucknow district, 9,079 have reportedly been ear-tagged and are available for adoption. Of these, over 4,400 are available with Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), followed by 895 in Mohanlalganj, 833 in Maal and 789 in Malihabad blocks in the state.
According to LMC Director (animal welfare) Arvind Rao, the process of verification is underway and the animals will be handed over to deserving applicants in 15 days. Furthermore, the state veterinary department will conduct regular inspection of foster homes. "If an animal is sick, the owner will have to inform the department, which will arrange for free treatment. However, in case of death, a postmortem will be done to ascertain the cause and action will be taken if there is any foul play," Rao added. The animals are being ear-tagged for easy identification if abandoned after adoption.
The officials also believe that Rs 30 a day is not only enough to feed a cow but will also prove an additional income stream for the foster families. According to them, non-crop fields on the outskirts of the city would allow foster homes to easily feed the adopted animal, allowing them to save some of the maintenance amount shelled out the adopted cows.