‘I ward them off with a cricket bat’: Indian farmers despair over marauding cows
Source: The Guardian
By Amrit Dhillon in Uttar Pradesh
By day, Munidev Tyagi is a farmer, growing rice, maize, lentils and sorghum. By night, he turns watchman, guarding his fields in Sahibpur village in Uttar Pradesh against the stray cows that trample and maraud on his fields, eating his precious crops.
He is not a happy man.
“I don’t get more than a couple of hours sleep. The last few crops were badly damaged. It’s a huge problem. I ward them off with my son’s cricket bat but they keep coming back,” said Tyagi.
The stray cows, numbering hundreds, belong to dairy farmers in the area. Once they cease to give milk, farmers can’t afford to keep feeding them. Previously, they used to sell unproductive cows to the local abattoir for a small sum of money. But now, with the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh aggressively enforcing anti-cow slaughter laws, the situation is very different.