At the Gram Nirman Kelavani Mandal, there is only 65 litres of milk to go around for 2,000 tribal children who live in its hostels
A true embodiment of the milk of human kindness, Vile Parle residents Madhubhai Mehta (76) and his wife Lakshmi (72) have found a unique way of looking into the nutritional needs of tribal children in the village of Bharuch, Gujarat, by donating cows, so that the kids have enough milk to drink.
While the institution owns 60 cows, only 30 of them give milk
The village of Bharuch, which is in the Thava district, suffers from paucity of milk, and in turn, of dairy products. Mehta has donated 10 cows, and hopes to donate a total of 100 eventually, with other members of the Kapol community in Mumbai helping out with donations. The milk will be consumed by students of the Gram Nirman Kelavani Mandal (GNKM), where 3,000 boys and girls from the tribal area receive education.
GNKM has a few acres of land for agriculture and also runs Kamdhenu Gaushala, which has around 60 cows. Half of these cows give milk. Ironically, the students are deprived of their daily glass of milk, in spite of this. The secretary of the institution, Mansinh Mangrola, confirmed this.
Madhubhai Mehta (seen with his wife Lakshmi) has paid R3.5 lakh Pic/Prashant Waydande
Paresh Patel, associated with GNKM, said, “Out of 60 cows, only 30 are give milk. The institution gets around 100 litres of milk at a time, of which 35 litres has to be given to the Dudh Utpadak Sahakari Mandal daily, at a price which is decided by the cooperative. In exchange we get 50 kg of fodder, which is given only to the cows that can be milked, while dry and green grass is fed to non-milking cows.”
“So in effect, we get only 65 litres of milk for our use. As a policy, the institution does not sell the milk in the open market, nor can it afford to buy milk from outside. This is why the students are deprived of milk. We add a few hundred litres of water to the milk, convert it to curd, part of which is used for cooking. The rest is is used as buttermilk, distributed once in a week on rotation basis to the six hostels,” explained Paresh.
Gram Nirman Kelavani Mandal is located in the backward tribal area of Bharuch and provides educational facilities right from KG to graduation
When Mehta heard about the problem, he wasted no time in rushing to the rescue. He said, “I have already donated R3.5 lakh for the purchase of 10 cows to the institution and aim to have the number taken to 100 with the help of others from my community. My wife Lakshmi encouraged me to support the cause.”
Confirming the donation, Patel said, “The purchase of cows will be done after the school reopens for a new academic year in June. Till then, the money received has been deposited in the bank.”