Cows in India are not just animals, but are revered as one of the icons of the country’s very culture and civilization, and are indeed worshipped as “cow-mother.” In the course of their local evolution through the ages, Indian native cows have developed their own characteristics, which are acclaimed the world over for their wonderful properties. Absorbing energy from the sunrays through a “solar pulse” on their back, the native cows yield milk of the highest quality, with superlative qualities to enhance man’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.

Apart from milk, Indian native cows are also valued highly for their urine and dung, which are finding increasing applications in almost every aspect of human life today, and novel products like “cow shampoo,” “cow soap,” “cow incense sticks,” and “cow insect-/pest-repellants” are now becoming increasingly popular in the country, among health-and-environment-conscious consumers.Native Indian cows have ever lived happily and healthily in the country’s physical and human environments and rendered yeoman service to the country’s economy not only by their milk output, but also by their invaluable aid in ploughing, transportation and several other agrarian operations –- all with the least demands on maintenance and investment.

In spite of all their value and virtues, and ironically enough, Indian cow breeds are being criminally ignored inside their own native land, owing to lack of awareness on the one hand and craze for hybrid and foreign breeds on the other. Little realizing the purity and distinctive nature of each individual breed, the local people are indiscriminately intermixing the breeds, and much to the horror of all right-thinking citizens, they are allowing cow slaughter at an alarming rate of 20 cows per minute. While only 236 slaughterhouses existed in India prior to independence, today there are 36,000 such killing fields, leading to the virtual extinction of several irreplaceable breeds. Believe it or not, only 33 native breeds have survived now, as against a diverse range of 70 breeds a few years ago.

Growing Interest Abroad

The superior value of India’s native cow breeds has attracted worldwide attention and people from all continents have carried these breeds to their native lands and successfully re-bred them there. Brazilians have raised hundreds of thousands of cows from the “Ongole” breed Andhra Pradesh and similarly, New Zealanders have redeveloped the Indian “Vechur” breed and Americans and Australians have raised a whole new generation of cows called “Brahman” from an Indian breed.

For our very survival and growth in the future, it has therefore become essential for all of us to protect and promote the native Indian breed of cattle, in all seriousness.

The Unparalleled Mission of “Kamadugha”

Fortunately, amidst the looming darkness, certain points of light and hope exist in the country in the form of GoShala_s (cow care centers) opened by several caring and responsible individuals and institutions. But still, there are no centres specially to protect the Indian native breeds, except Nanaji Deshmukh’s Deendayal Shodha Sansthan at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, which is focusing on just 10 breeds. In view of this, His Holiness Sri Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi Mahaswamiji of Sri Ramachandrapura Matha at Hosanagara in Shimoga district of Karnataka State has launched a major project called Kamadugha for protection and propagation of all breeds of Indian cows. Already 27 native cow breeds have been brought under this project and efforts are on to bring the rest of the surviving breeds too, under the purview of the project.

As part of Kamadugha, an exclusive Goloka (Cow World) is shaping up in Hosanagara, with diverse cow-centric activities, and 108 GoShala-s are being contemplated at different places for exclusive local development of each of the native breeds. Also, a variety of cow products are being manufactured in different places to demonstrate the importance of intelligent and nonviolent Cattle Resource Management.

Kamadugha’s Successful Steps

  • 27 native breeds of cows (pure breeds collected from all over India) have been protected at Amrita Dhara GoShala at Hosanagara
  • Artificial insemination has been totally banned in order to discourage inter-breed hybridization
  • 12 GoShala-s have already been opened, out of the total of 108 GoShala-s planned at places all over India.
  • 68-day Bharatiya GoYatra –- a 5830km-long cow-awareness campaign – was carried out successfully at 330 centres of 28 districts in Karnataka and Kerala in 2005-06.
  • Over 500 native cows were brought from Rajastan and distributed in Karnataka and Kerala in 2005-06 through Shaankara GoYatra, a special campaign
  • A host of cow products are being manufactured and related training is being given at various centers – Scientific research is being carried out in regard to applications of cow products, including medicines for various diseases
  • Cow Therapy Centres (GoChikitsa Kendra) have been opened at Hosanagara, Mysore, Bangalore and South Kanara to treat serious diseases like cancer and TB, and these Centers have reported encouraging success rates.
  • Right knowledge on the use of cow manure is being imparted at various centers, particularly keeping in view the increasing popularity of organic farming

Kamadugha’s Far-reaching Impact

  • Enhanced interest in breeding native cows
  • Reduction in artificial insemination
  • Reduction in selling of invalid cows for beef production
  • For the first time in India, announcement of special plans for protection of native breeds by the Government of Karnataka –- Interest by the Chief and Deputy Chief Ministers of Karnataka to raise native cows in their official campuses.
  • Raise in demand for cow products, particularly cow pharmaceuticals