NEW DELHI — The Animal Welfare Board of India wants to christen February 14 as Cow Hug Day, and has appealed to the public to embrace cows, claiming that it would bring “emotional richness” and increase “individual and collective happiness.”
Dairy farmers, on the other hand, alleged that the Board did not even help them when thousands of cows died due to lumpy skin disease recently, reports The Hindu.
February 14 is observed as Valentine’s Day in many parts of the world, but the celebration of a day of love has been decried by some sections as contrary to Indian culture.
In an appeal signed by its secretary S.K. Dutta, the AWBI said that the cow is the backbone of Indian culture and the rural economy, sustaining life, and representing cattle wealth and biodiversity. “It is known as Kamdhenu and Gaumata because of its nourishing nature like a mother, the giver of all, providing riches to humanity. Vedic traditions are almost on the verge of extinction due to the progress of western culture over time. The dazzle of western civilization has made our physical culture and heritage almost forgotten,” the official appeal said.
“This issues with the approval of competent authority and on the direction of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying,” it added.
The leader of the Dairy Farmers Federation of India Dayabhai Gajera said that thousands of cows had died in Gujarat alone, due to lumpy skin disease. “Where was the AWBI when our cows died recently? We have not got anything as compensation. The milk production has decreased by about 15 to 20%,” Mr. Gajera said. “The love they show to cows is just fake. If they really want to support cattle, they must support dairy farmers and compensate for our losses due to lumpy skin disease,” he added.