They can be spotted in large numbers roaming in the scorching heat, desperately looking for water. Several perish for want of food and water as the number of abandoned cows in Bundelkhand is swelling with each passing day. It's a common practice in Bundelkhand to abandon cows once they stop giving milk. The system is commonly called Anna Pratha by the locals. Herds of cow are left on their own. These creatures in turn become highly vulnerable as they take to the highways, and in the past, hundreds of them have been killed in road accidents.
The situation is similarly grim for those who escape accidents.
Most of the fields are dry as the wheat has been harvested. The husk that is left in the field has several takers and that too is becoming scarce. It's already 44 degrees C in various parts of Bundelkhand and the scorching heat seems to have taken away life from the grass which could have provided fodder to the hapless creatures.
There are also not enough trees which could either provide shed or fodder to the aimlessly wandering cows.
THEY CONSIDER CATTLE TO BE A BURDEN
As farmers themselves are finding it hard to eke out a living, they consider their cattle to be a burden and commonly practice abandoning them. Over the years, this practice has led to a volatile situation where now lakhs and lakhs of such cows can be spotted all across Bundelkhand. The woes of the poor creatures do not stop here.
Whenever they try to enter any field for want of food, they are chased away with lathis by the vigilant farmers, who closely guard their crop round the clock. Often chased from one field to the other, and from one village to the another, these cows have no shelter.
Often they take to the roads causing heavy traffic snarls or leading to accidents. Reports are also coming from various places of several cows dying a slow and sure death as there is not enough food and water for them.NOT ENOUGH TO FEED
The locals indicate that when there is not enough for them to eat how can they take the burden of their cattle.
Santosh Singh, a social activist, indicated, "The practice has become common place in the area. Now, more and more people are abandoning their cows and other animals. Wherever you go across Bundelkhand, you find thousands of these creatures, who have been left to die. The government should do something for these creatures." He simultaneously asked about the vigilante groups.
"Why are they not paying attention to the plight of the cows in Bundelhand if they are genuinely concerned about the well being of the cows," asked Santosh Singh.
At a well in Gushiyari village, there was a clamour among women to collect water which is so scarce and some cows came almost running towards the well. The women folk were kind enough to give some water to these animals. But, they lamented soon that the well will also become dry as most of the ponds in the area.
The problem is bound to accentuate further as the summer season has just begun.
With temperatures touching approximately 44 degrees C, now these helpless creatures are bound to have troubled times as they will have absolutely no water to drink and no fodder left. Deaths are now being registered in almost every part of Bundelkhand and most of them are getting unreported.