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Cow is the only animal whose milk, dung and urine have great values for mankind. There is nothing emotional or religious about it. Thus, a lady, Anuradha Modi, with enthusiastic spirit came up with Holy Cow Foundation to make desi cows economically sustainable.
The entire nation has recognised the medicinal, agricultural and economic value of cows. The cow is the only animal whose milk, dung and urine have great values for mankind. There is nothing emotional or religious about it. It is pure science based on experience.
Around three years ago, Anuradha Modi, Founder and President of the Holy Cow Foundation started it with the concept to make desi cows economically sustainable. Initially, she sponsored a ‘gau gras’ rickshaw to collect daily rotis, vegetable peels and aata from her colony to feed stray cows. She was quite aware of the pitiable conditions of indigenous cows and its various benefits to humanity. This motivated her to decide and form the Holy Cow Foundation.
Despite a new face in the market, the foundation is extra-ordinarily recognised as it makes product from cow dung and urine which is an object of wonderment for people who don’t know, hence with an exclamatory term “Holy Cow”. “We want to bring the urbanites to connect with the cow so an international name is given to which all can relate,” says Modi.
“We also focus on awareness campaigns, talks, seminars, training programmes etc. Gaushalas are periodically visited to see how they function and if any inputs can be given to improving them or learn from them,” she adds.
Modi has always been active in animal welfare since she was 15 years, inspired by Crystal Rogers. “I started Friendicoes, one of the first animal centers in Delhi. I organised the first ‘Pet Show’ in 1975 with the concept of raising healthy and happy pets rather than giving importance to breeds and looks of a pet. My article and concept "Killing the Crisis Not the Animal" was the beginning of the ABC (Animal Birth Control Project for Stray Dogs) at the governmental level. I also worked with street children through the Salaam Balak Trust and aided other organisations to raise funds or collect relief materials during natural calamities,” explains Modi.
For a change, the foundation does not run any gaushala. “We don’t want to be tied down running gaushalas”, says Modi. “But we want to help gaushalas to attain economic sustainability,” adds she.
“We help gaushalas learn how to make panchgavya products and even help them set up production units. Marketing quality products we create a buyer base for such products. We also give ad hoc support to really needy gaushalas for construction,” further mentions Modi.
“Till now we have given technical assistance to many and have been successful in making one gaushala in Noida, economically sustainable. Project is ready to start in another gaushala in Gurgaon. We are very keen to make a pilot project in a village under MPLAD or CSR support, to prove that not a single cow or its progeny need to leave its village to end up in a slaughter house,” informs Modi.
“I am proud to be a part of the foundation. The concept sounded me very interesting and nothing could, therefore, stopped me to make a huge product reach to the people,” says a volunteer.
Usage and benefits
The cow urine is used in various forms. It is mostly used as a distillate and is present in most of our products other than herbal tea, chawanprash, nasal drop and ghee. It is either used directly in the health tonic and weight loss tonic or is used to infuse herbs in it like as in joint pain oil, face pack and body scrub, she mentions. Its distillate is added to the shampoo. It’s said cow urine contains copper which cuts fat deposit in the body. It also contains enzymes which rejuvenate and repair old cells. It works as an anti oxidant and is excellent for the liver. It is an elixir and has to be tried to know its true benefits.
The desi cow is virtually a living hospital and factory rolled into one. “In my entire conversation when cow is mentioned it refers to the Indian desi cow (Bos Indicus). As the exotic cows are a different breed, Bos Taurus and the composition of their milk, dung and urine are totally different. There is a hospital in Wardha, Gujarat which treats cancer patients by cow therapy and I met a young man who recovered after that treatment,” says Modi.
At present, the products are sourced from Shri Mataji Goshala in Barsana where 35,000 cows are being cared for under the patronage of Ramesh Baba, a saint. The products are being manufactured under the strict guidance of Dr Mukesh Soni, an ayurvedic doctor. “None of our products contains harmful chemicals. We do give training in the making of some of the simpler products like tooth powder, gaunyle, dhoop sticks, cow logs, cow pots, various manures and pest repellents for plants. Anyone keeping cows can learn and make these products to earn more. Our purpose is to prevent every single cow or its progeny from being abandoned or sold for slaughter,” claims Modi.
Pros and Cons
Despite having tremendous usage quality some people are queasy about the use of cow urine, while others swear by its benefits. “It’s really each one to choose for themselves. They might not shirk from eating the entrails of a diseased, old, tired, scared, thirsty animal but will not try urine to cure an illness. Whereas, some people have cured their 3rd stage cancer by drinking this miracle fluid,” smiles Modi.
Some people had made phenyl, a popular floor cleaner in India using cow urine. This innovation sounded quite impressive to Modi and she got a bottle to use at home. “My family did not like the odor it was leaving,” says Modi.
So she approached Ramneesh Tangri, an IITian who runs a gaushala as a social, spiritual service. “I asked him if we could improve it as I am always looking for such products which can be widely used. He started working on it and after many trials we were able to make the perfect product which left a pleasant fragrance after use. Next we got it lab tested as I wanted to use it not only in homes but in schools, hospitals, dispensaries etc.,” proudly says Modi.
Modi organise several festivals to promote the well being of cows. This means promoting products fashioned with cow urine and cow dung. Holy Cow organises a music fest every year to raise awareness and funds for its functioning. Each One Feed One is an initiative for people to support looking after cows in gaushalas by adopting a cow at Rs 15,000 a year.
She pointed to booths displaying beautifully-packaged body scrub made from cow dung, dung-based paper, mosquito coils, dhoops, even shampoo filled with cow urine, which Modi said holds anti-fungal properties. Reminding cow-owners that they could make these products, many of which have a long history in India but have since been replaced by chemical-based goods, will help save older cows from the slaughterhouse, she says.