Mrunal Manmay Dash

Think of any gaushala (cow shelter) and pictures of frail, destitute cows trying to survive the remaining days of their lives will pop up in our minds. However, there is one such cow shelter, Sri Baidyabhavan Goshala at Nischintakoili in Cuttack district which is quite opposite and can be safely termed as a heaven for the bovine.

And the man behind the cow shelter is Dr Sharada Nanda Mishra who left his well-paid job in Mumbai to serve cows in his village.

His imposing personality, and bulging eyes on the clean-shaven face, don’t betray his affable manners. A man with a vision who claims to have no political ambition is not averse to taking help of people in power towards his life’s objective of ensuring kindness to cows.

Neither Mishra puts any leash on the cows, nor collects milk for business. They are free to roam and feed the calves as much milk as they can. A small amount of milk is however collected for Puja and Prasad in the nearby temple.

He keeps many breeds of cows in there; from Vrindaban cows to Kapila cows. He claims to preserve 20-25 gotras of cows who were on the brink of extinction.

Mishra collects urine from the cows only to provide people on demand and cow dung to use them as cakes and bricks. He even uses cow dung to produce bio-gas.

Speaking to OTV, Mishra said, “This is not about respect or prestige. I wanted to keep the tradition of cow-service alive. Being born in a Brahmin family it is our duty to learn Vedas and serve the cows.”

“I do not extract any milk from them and leave it for the calves. However, I collect urine to use it in ayurvedic medicine and occasionally sell to others on demand,” Mishra said.

Abhay Mallick, an associate of Nanda said, “Our daily chores include feeding the cows, collecting their urine and taking them out for grazing. We make manure, bricks and cow dung cakes from the cow dung. I feel really proud serving the cows.”

Not only Mishra, his whole family including his son Lopesh Mishra is devoted to serve the cows as well. Lopesh said, “Cows are revered in our religion and worshipped as deities. Moreover, being a Brahmin I think it is our duty to serve them. I am just continuing with what my father has done.

This cow shelter is different in many counts from the other shelters. Mishra not only serves the bovines to preserve the breeds, he takes care of them as a service to God as per the Hindu scriptures.

(Reported By Manoj Acharya, OTV)