01, Jan 2016
• 1 Jan 2016
• Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
• Zakir Hussain [email protected],com
NAGAUR: With the country witnessing a fierce debate over perceived intolerance, a Muslim family in Rajasthan is doing its bit to maintain communal harmony, dedicating its life to the service of cows.
Phule Khan and his family, who hail from Ledi village in Ladnu tehsil, shelter around 600 cows.
The practice, which started with 20 cows in 1995 by Phule’s brother Aasu Khan, has two aims — providing shelter and f odder t o abandoned cows and saving crops from being destroyed by stray cattle during harvesting seasons.
“We are working towards building a spirit of brotherhood among Hindus and Muslims,” Phule said. Quoting verses from the Quran, Khan said it is a hadith (tradition and sayings of Prophet Muhammad) which says consumption of beef is bad for health.
“When such a hadith exists, there is no room for further debate,” the farmer added.
The family has welcomed the Rajasthan Cow Protection Act. “The bulls are sold only to local farmers at heavily discounted prices with a written undertaking that the cattle would not be sold to butchers and would be returned once they grow old,” Phule’s brother Habib Khan said.
The family runs the shelter with own resources and help from fellow villagers. “Every month, about Rs 1 lakh is spent on fodder and other expenses,” said Phule.