If you aren’t looking for it, you’d probably miss the Botad Panjrapole. Tucked somewhere in one corner of Botad, Gujarat the infirmary was set up to nurture and care for animals in distress and protect these strays from ending up at slaughter houses or being tranquilised. Spread across 30 acres, the only sounds one can hear is of mooing of the cows, the bawling of the calves and the grunting of the oxen.
Those sounds are like music to me. Though the Panjrapole was started decades ago by a trust, I along with a few friends took charge of the
of the place fifteen years ago after seeing the terrible conditions these mute animals were in.
Today, we proudly support 3200 cattle, including cows, ox and calves. Our team provides food, water and the best health care facilities. We have a full time veterinary doctor to look after them. The milk yielded from the cows are sold to residents at a very cheap rate. The money received is used for the shelter’s upkeep.
Over the years as the cattle strength increased exponentially, we had to reach out for more funds. Last year, we organised a fundraiser in Surat and managed to raise 1.81 crores to fend for these animals. With generous donations and the goodwill of pious locals, the Panjrapole continues to stand tall, even after years.
As for me, I love to care for them. I visit the Panjrapole daily to look after the animals and ensure all activities are managed in an orderly manner. To me, they are like orphan kids. They are family and I shall provide for them till I die.
– As told by Saubhagyachand Bagadia, 79 years young
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