Gau kalyan cess is welcome but what about our dogs, cats and monkeys?
The Yogi Adityanath government should introduce a cess on cigarettes and gutka for protection of other animals.
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January 1, 2019 has brought good news in Uttar Pradesh — for its cows.
Stray cattle in Uttar Pradesh will now have government-built shelters across the state.
The UP cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Yogi Adityanath, has approved a proposal to levy a ‘cow welfare cess’ on toll tax and excise, increase ‘mandi’ fee cess by 1 per cent and earmark 0.5 per cent of profits made by public sector undertakings to generate funds for setting up temporary shelters for cattle (the cow family) across the state.
Give them shelter: Cattle in Uttar Pradesh are being increasingly abandoned by their owners. (Source: Reuters)
The new cess will lead to an increase in alcohol prices in UP.
The move follows farmers locking up stray cattle in schools and police stations currently in order to protect their crops from damage caused by the wandering animals.
The cabinet approved a plan to set up and run temporary 'gauvansh ashray asthals' under urban and rural civic bodies in order to take proper care of stray cattle.
This is a welcome relief for farmers facing cattle destroying their crops and also, for cattle that loiters around desperately in search of food and water and ends up eating kilos of polythene in the process.
Millions of cows in India live a hapless life despite all the hype. (Source: Reuters)
According to an NDTV report, people in at least two villages in western UP's Aligarh and Firozabad districts recently rounded up stray cattle and locked them up in government schools in their areas, refusing to let classes function until the administration did something about the animals.
Given the crackdown on ‘cattle smuggling’, many people have now started abandoning ageing cattle, leading to a community challenge that the Yogi government is trying to tackle.
But cattle are not the only animals that need protection.
Animals such as dogs, cats and monkeys also need protection, care and shelters.
Why shouldn't there be shelter for them? (Source: Reuters)
The problems people face because of stray dogs and monkeys are no less serious.
Monkeys also need protection in Uttar Pradesh. (Source: Twitter)
Also, it is only expected of a government that promises ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ to not differentiate between animals.
The government should perhaps consider applying a cess on cigarettes and gutka, which are also health menaces, in north Indian states such as UP to ensure that dogs, cats, buffaloes and monkeys also find state protection, shelter and care.
The move will have the added advantage of discouraging the practices of smoking, drinking and eating gutka, while also helping animals.
It doesn’t get much better.