DANG, Jan 10: Swargadwari Ashram of Pyuthan has begun collecting straw from local villagers as alms for its starving cows. Ashram has been urging villagers to donate straw for starving cows through local FM radios.
The ashram has been unable to feed cows as its land grabbed by the Maoists during the conflict continues to remain seized.
“Hundreds of villagers have responded to our call. They have asked us to collect straw from their houses,” Bhubaneshwar Pandit, a Hindu priest of Dang, says. He had reached Hapure village of Dang last week to collect straw. A total of 13 trucks of straw have been transported to Pyuthan from Dang alone.
The Maoists had seized 1,200 bigaha land belonging to the Ashram. The Maoists, however, have allowed local farmers to grow crops for themselves. Earlier, the Ashram used to collect ample straw from its land.
The cows owned by the Ashram are not for sale. Over 50 cows are lactating. Of late, some lactating cows have reduced the amount of milk they provide due to the dearth of straw. “We have collected ample straw by now,” Poudel said. “Cows will no longer remain hungry.”