Sat, 31 Dec 2016
In a country where cow is considered holy by a majority of the population and consuming beef may have serious legal and political repercussions, a US citizen has come to spread the message of saving cows.
Julian Bliss, 50, came to India in 2014. Soon, he started working with the Rajiv Gandhi Animal Hospital, where he introduced novel ideas, such as how to use the sprinkler system to help cows beat the heat. He also maintained the shelters and even painted the walls of the facility.
Curious about the bigger picture, and wishing to know how these animals could be kept safe and healthy with minimum dependence on humans, he decided to build his own 'Gau Charan Shala', where cows would not be dependent on humans, and would graze freely.
"Once in the US, as many as 50,000 chickens kept on 360 acres of land died because of unavailability of water, after the workers at the farm went on a strike. Learning a lesson from that, I proposed a plan of 'organised grazing lands' to the Haryana government, and received a piece of land in Pipli, Kurukshetra," Bliss says.
He then set up a self-sustaining system, where cows self-feed and there is free access to clean water systems. The project also ensures that maximum number of cows can be sustained on minimum amount of land. As many as three cow hospitals and treatment centers for injured animals are also available at the farm. At present, 110 cows, rescued after accidents or donated by people, live on Bliss's farm.
"Cows need to be saved from living on roads, eating plastic, and acid attacks. Violence will also greatly reduce when cows and other animals will not be tied up as slaves. I want to set up such systems and show people that cows can live by themselves," he says.
Bliss's journey as a 'Gau Rakshak' had started when he was only 18 years old. After joining the Hare-Krishna society for his spiritual development, Bliss became a follower of Hinduism in the process, and even became the Head Pujari of Hare-Krishna temple in Santa Cruz, California. A graduate in music and languages, Bliss believes a simple life close to nature is meaningful living.