Wonderful initiative

Ek Aur Prayaas also motivates and hails the individual / group (not necessarily under Our Banner) efforts for betterment of villages who are fighting #MHDrought, to start with here it is : –

Personal account of Shri. Anand

We did the first round on 6’th April as planned. Please see attached pictures which should help describe the situation an the effort.

 

Following was achieved:

  1. Medical camp: We carried Rs.20,000+ worth of vet medicines. 6+ vet doctors (local + 1 surgeon from Satara) volunteered. Animals were checked and treated at 2 chavnis (Tadawale and Bombale). Some small operations and surgeries were also done.
  2. Kadba: We supplied ~7 tons of good quality kadba (worth ~Rs.50,000) to the Garalewadi chavni. This was arranged from Vijapur (Karnataka) with the help of Shri Kishorbhai Shah in Pune.
  3. Shade-net: We supplied Rs. 24,000 worth of shade-net which can provide shelter to ~300 animals. It was cut and stitched into pieces that are good for 2 or 3 animals so that direct distribution to actual needy farmers could be done. The shade-net was sourced from Shri Sagar Lakade (Lakde Hardware, Vita)

The good:

  1. The medicines, and doctors service was very useful. With lack of nutrition, the health of animals is deteriorating.
  2. The shade-net was vital. It is going to get much hotter in next few weeks.
  3. The chara/kutti sourced was of very high quality – as per the feedback from the farmers. They know better, so we were happy.
  4. Efficiency: We ensured that it was not a fun trip. Both the cars were loaded with essentials (in addition to the gross supplies by trucks). We carried 40+ liters of water – for ourselves + others and ~100 kgs of corn and cabbage from Market Yard. However small these figures may be, we ensured that our visit does not put strain on the already water starved villages. And we fed the corn and cabbage to the animals ourselves. From their reaction, it was clear that the animals really enjoyed this green stuff as if it was a feast…

 

The bad:

  1. Bigger picture: Overall, it’s such a mess…lack of education and ever growing population!!!
  2. Milk: That’s what this is all about isn’t it? With the kind of illnesses the cattle faces, the malnutrition, random medication (incorrect prescription, over dosage, steroids…), what kind of milk do we get?
  3. Gender-parity: Where are the bullocks gone? Some farmers keep them, but they are in minority. Nobody wants bullocks as it makes no business sense. So where do they vanish? An open secret really, isn’t it?
  4. Long-term: What is the root cause? Poor planning, no rain-water harvesting, illogical sugar-cane farming…

 

The ugly:
The doctors: We established contacts with local doctors. Some of them are government doctors. They helped source the medicines, offered their services free of charge, but right from day 1 (our pilot trip), it looked a bit suspicious to me and the fear materialized around lunch break after the medical camps were over. They expected us to leave after the camp, but one of us (an office colleague – Vaijyanath) had spotted 2 cows who showed string side-effects after medication. One stood absolutely still – motionless after the injection, other fell down. Though we were told “it happens”, Vaijyanath just could not get it out of his head so we headed back to the camp and saw nothing has changed. So we called the doctors (they had started a party and were drinking…) who kept telling us they will be back in 10 min. After numerous calls and an hour of follow up, they got pissed off, came back to the site, almost drove into the camp and started abussing the farmers alleging that it’s all the farmer’s fault. The farmers gave over-dose, they described wrong symptoms, etc. Only because we were there, they re-treated the two cows…not sure what would have happened otherwise… We also asked them for the left-over medicines so we can use them latter and they became red in anger. They literally threw the medicines out of the car and even during that time, tried to take a few bottles for their own cattle(?) It also came out that one of the doctors has installed a 30,000 liter chilling plant and buys milk from all the farmers and supplies to bigger Dairy players so he controls the economy and no farmer can complain against him.
Next steps:

  1. We will continue the efforts.
  2. We will minimize/reduce to zero – any dependency on local people. We now have good contacts to source chara and shade-net. We will source the medicines as well from Pune (and the doctors). We are searching for the Vet docs and surgeons in Pune who can contribute – Bhushan ji has already provided some contacts. More inputs are welcome.
  3. We will work on some long term solution. We are exploring and are open to ideas
  4. We need hands-on people, field guys, technical experts.

The whole effort was an outcome of the sensitivity, initiative and hard-work of some of my office colleagues and friends: Pankaj Hirlekar, Narendra Limbani, Swarup Sutar, Mandar Joshi, Ranjit Hande, Vaijanath Langade and Amit Joshi. Especially Pankaj Hirlekar, who hasn’t been thinking about anything else for last few days…

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