The drought has not just affected the farmers and crops and in the state but the cattle as well. In the last five months, approximately five cows have died every day in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.
Where are the Gau-Rakshaks??
In villages of Moyar, Balacola, and Masinagudi alone, around 300 cattle have died. The reason for the cattle deaths is the lack of water and green fodder.
A farmer in Moyar, R Narayanan, 45, said he had lost more than 50 of his cows to drought in the last six months.
Drought-Hit Village: Nilgiris
“Even today, approximately five cows have not come back after grazing. I will have to go verify tomorrow if they are alive,” he said.
Another farmer at Masinagudi said:
“Last week approximately 20 cattle died in the village. The revenue officials are always notified about it but no action have been taken yet. They do not even carry out a post-mortem,” said a farmer.
Narayanan said in many cases, the doctor is not even paid by the district authorities for carrying out postmortems on the corpses.
“So, the doctors denied to come and ask us to click photos and cut open the cows on yourself. We denied to do that and dumped the dead bodies”.
He further added:
“These cows were not just our source of income but an important part of our lives as well. I spent around 8 lakhs in the year 2016 to get fodder for my cows. Yet, I could not rescue them”.
Environmentalists say districts like Erode, Coimbatore, and Salem were also uniformly affected. In 2000, during the same drought, a number of cattle had lost their lives.
“At that time, rains started and the demise halted after some weeks. But this time, the cows continue to lose life”.
A member of an NGO, S Bharatidasan of Arulagam said that he had discovered as many as 59 decayed bodies of cows in just 1 square km area while on a trip a village in the Nilgiris.
“I was surprised to discover 59 decomposed bodies of cows in just one square km area. This is merciless. If the same cows were murdered by a tiger, it will be a state issue,” he said, adding that around all the cows had many of plastic waste in their intestines.
“Scarcity of fodder must have made them eat waste material,” he said.