Ahmedabad: Protesting against the thrashing of Dalits in Una, members of the community traditionally engaged in skinning and tannery work have refused to dispose of the dead cattle in several parts of Gujarat.
They are showing their anger by boycotting their work of collecting dead bovines to prevent harassment from ‘gau rakshaks’.
“How can gau rakshaks torture us when we’re only doing our job – a job which is crucial to society?” angry Dalit social worker Maheshbhai Rathod quoted as saying to Scroll.in.
“This is why we used those cow carcasses as a mark of protest. Dalits are boycotted for their work but we wanted to show them how critical our role is?”
Some 30 different Dalit groups from across Gujarat have announced they will not collect dead animals for skinning and also stop doing sanitation work in all local government bodies.
The decision to stay away from the work by the community members has left the administration harried, particularly in Surendranagar city where the civic body staff has disposed of more than 80 dead cattle using their own resources during the last one week.
According to Surendranagar district collector Udit Agrawal: “Skinners are on strike since last one week. Thus, we are engaging municipality staff to dispose of the carcasses. Even some maldharis (cattle rearers) are also helping us. Till now, we have disposed of 88 cattle in the city. We are making sure that people don’t face any problem due to the ongoing stir,” Agrawal said.
Cow protection groups and the residents are confused are completely clueless about how to deal with the situation.
“We can only pray that no more cows die,” said Haresh Joshi, member of Hindu Gau Raksha Dal that works in Ahmedabad district. “We were not aware about this problem. We will soon call a meeting of our gau rakshaks and discuss ways to dispose of the carcasses,” he told TOI.
The vile stench that emanates from the carcasses has admitted the residents to hospitals as animal remains decomposing for days.
The rotting of Cow Corpses can lead a number of potential health hazards, including cholera and many gastrointestinal problems. Even the inhalation of the foul fumes from a corpse of decomposing animals can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, it should be control properly.