Source: Dainik Bhaskar (28-Jan-2019)

Meet India's 'Gau Rakshak' From Germany Who Received The Padma Shri For Looking After Cows

As many as 1,200 abandoned, sick and injured cows have found a savior in 59-year-old German national, Friederike Irina Bruning. Irina landed in Indian from Berlin in 1978, completely oblivious to what destiny would have in store for her. A bovine mission unlike any other.

She then bought a cow at the request of a neighbour and her life hasn’t been the same ever since. Irina purchased books on cows and learnt Hindi. Fondly called Sudevi Mataji, she started her cowshed known as ‘Surbhai Gauseva Niketan’. “They are like my children and I cannot leave them,” she says while referring to the large family of cows and calves in the sleepy town of Radha Kund here. Once a cow reaches her 3,300 sq yard gaushala, she would take full care of the animals by providing food and medicine.

“Today, I have 1,200 cows and calves. I do not have sufficient place to accommodate more as the place is getting smaller. But still I cannot refuse, when somebody leave a sick or injured cow outside my ashram, I have to take her in,” she said.

Irina has divided her place in such a manner that cows needing special care are kept at one place. Blind and badly injured needing attention are kept in a separate enclosure. When asked about the finances, she said as much as Rs 22 lakh per month is required for medicines, foodgrain and salaries of about 60 workers.

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