Be it because of their place in our mythology or the dairy products they provide, cows in India have a special place. They are also the ones to roam about on roads and create traffic woes. But the poor creatures are not to be blamed, they are abandoned when the owners don’t find them useful anymore. Friederike Irina Bruning saw this problem and chose to help the animals in need!
Bruning, 59, had come to Mathura, from Germany in search of a Guru to progress in life. It was her neighbour who suggested her to buy a cow.
She read books about cows and how to take care of them. During her free time, she even learned Hindi. Bruning struck a deep bond with the animal but soon she noticed that people left their cows when they couldn’t provide milk anymore. She found it very disturbing.
To help the distressed animals, she started a shelter called Surabhi Gauseva Niketan. The animal shelter now houses almost 1,200 cows!
There are separate shelters built to serve different purposes. One of them takes care of cows with special needs while another treats sick and injured ones.
Including the salaries of the 60 workers, almost 22 lakh is spent each year. Bruning’s father who worked in the German Embassy in India initially funded her shelter but he is retired from his job now and lives on his pension. Bruning has some property in Berlin from which she gets the rent to take care of her expenses.
The problem, however, lies in the fact she hasn’t been provided with long-term visa yet. She has to renew it every year. Despite the obstacles she faces, Bruning is determined to care for the thousand cows living in her shelter.