Cows have been a focal point of many political and social debates in India. While many people have milked the cow for their vested interests, I am not sure how many genuinely care for their “holy cow mother”. If we did, how come we have millions of abandoned cattle (including cows) roaming aimlessly on streets, and reaching even at the airports to ask about her long lost “children” who are fighting for her! 

 R B Neupane, Animal Welfare Nepal, Animal Welfare, Inspiration,  Motivation, Be A Doer, Doer Life
Image Credits – Economic Times

I understand, while the cow is domestic, it cannot exactly be a pet, at least in urban cities. However, that is no excuse to turn a deaf ear to the calls of care of this innocent animal. Every year, thousands of cows die on the streets because of the lack of medical aid in time. Not sure about the cows in India, but cows of Nepal have found their hope in Mr R B Neupane who diligently listens and responds to the calls of help by these helpless four legs. He has found the calling of his life to literally and selflessly save mother cow. 

It all started when he was returning from work one day. On his way back home he noticed a few injured cows, probably hit by vehicles, being chased by stray dogs. While he took pity, there was nothing that he could do. Or so he thought. The next day on his morning walk, he heard a strange mooing voice coming from the outskirts of the forest he was walking by. He followed the voice to find a young calf trapped in a puddle, crying for help. When the calf saw humans around, he struggled to moo louder to catch their attention. People did see it but walked by overlooking. Neupane was besotted with such attitude. He personally went to a few onlookers to ask for help but they blatantly refused. He walked to the calf, and lovingly caressed him. His touch brought calmness to the young animal, and probably some assurance. Neupane simply told the calf that he’ll be back with a few people who would help him rescue. Since people walking by did not want to get their hands dirty, Neupane went to the nearest police station to ask for help. The officer-in-charge sent six policemen with Neupane who finally rescued the calf. 

While everyone went their way, Neupane stood still staring at the calf. He fed him some grass, patted him on his forehead, and went walking back home. To his surprise, the calf was following him. He was in tears by now looking at the plight of the young animal. He patted him back and tried to direct him the other way, but the calf kept on following him. This went on for a few minutes and eventually, a crowd was pulled to the scene. Neupane asked around if anyone had a shelter to accommodate this calf, but people dismissed his plea stating, “why should we bear the burden of other people? People who left this calf on the road to die are at fault. What can we do about it?” Neupane was at a loss of words to even argue with such mentality. Here he had a calf weeping for love, and there was no empathy among people. 

Neupane realized that he could not expect others to practice humanity if he himself finds ways to dodge it. He called up a friend and asked him to come on a bike due to an emergency. His friend shortly arrived only to find that the emergency was to carry the calf to Neupane’s home. Naturally, he was furious. However, Neupane explained to him the situation and they both carried the calf back home.

 R B Neupane, Animal Welfare Nepal, Animal Welfare, Inspiration,  Motivation, Be A Doer, Doer Life
Image Credits – Dcnepal Online

Neupane bought 5 ltr of mustard oil and massaged the limbs of the calf every day till he was hale and hearty. What started with the love of one calf transformed into an entire cowshed within less than a year. He says, 

“There is a dog rescue centre, help centres for the people. But why isn’t there any institution to serve cow, after all, there is such a dreadful situation of national cattle?”

He knew he had found his calling, and even 24 hours a day seemed less to accomplish his purpose. He decided to leave his job, and dedicate his life toward this mission. The breadwinner of the family quitting his well-paying job to serve street cows naturally did not go down well with his family. Neupane understood, but he also knew that if he does not do this work, who else will? Every day he would set out on his bike to bring injured or sick cattle from the streets to his cow shelter for care. Of course, with the work expanding and no source of stable income, running the cow shelter was like walking on a thin rope. However, Neupane was so confident about the fruits of his good service, that he never gave up hope. He reached out to friends, family, and even government authorities for help, but was denied saying that there are no funds for such type of work. Relief and recognition finally came as an international award by “Shining world compassion” and a cash prize of Rs 3,40,000. Eventually, his family realized his passion and joined hands with him. Today, he has also found support in a few young volunteers.

 R B Neupane, Animal Welfare Nepal, Animal Welfare, Inspiration,  Motivation, Be A Doer, Doer Life
Image Credits – Dcnepal Online

Even today he works selflessly with the same zeal and enthusiasm. He has rescued more than 180 cows through his every day lookouts on his bike. His noble service is an inspiration for all of us who advocate about animal rights, but only through keyboards. In fact, people who do actively work for animal rights smell of hypocrisy. In India, it is “cool and compassionate” to vouch for the safety of dogs, cats, wildlife, etc; but the moment you speak about the welfare of cows, you are mocked as a “gau bhakt” or the spreader of “Hindu propaganda”. Why? While liking for certain animals is natural, you cannot prioritize the rights of one animal above others. My point is every life counts, and even if you do not wish you actively participate, do not mock someone’s beliefs and efforts. 

Neupane’s dedication towards animal welfare is a prime example of leading by practice. We hope that his story motivates everyone to protect, love, and care for all animals alike.

After, animals are voiceless, not lifeless. 


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