Thanks to all the donations, the small processing plant for the manufacture of ghee (clarified butter) could be opened. The high-quality milk from the Indian Giri cows will now be processed directly in the village. This brings significant financial savings, which means double the income can now be expected from every litre of milk.
Feierliche Eröffnung der neuen Ghee (Butterschmalz) Produktionsstätte/ Ceremonial opening of the new ghee (clarified butter) processing plant
Ab jetzt wird im Dorf Ghee (Butterschmalz) hergestellt/ The ghee (clarified butter) will now be manufactured in the village
Nicht A1 sondern A2 ist die höchste Qualitätsstufe für Milch. Diese hochwertige Milch wird von Giri Kühen gegeben/ A2 is the highest quality grade of milk produced by the cows
The long-awaited monsoon came far too late. And the farmers in India are particularly affected by climate change. The green fodder for the animals is running out. What to do? The new trainer, Mr. Ramanareddy, is looking for practicable solutions together with the farmers.
The cow appeared in the earliest Indian scriptures, the Vedas, and was depicted evocatively as a goddess, Prithivi Mata, the Mother Earth. In later Hindu texts, there are also some instances of the cow being described as a goddess – in particular Kamadhenu, the divine bovine-goddess and the fulfiller of wishes, who makes numerous appearances.
On certain days in rural areas the cow is honoured, for example during the Divali Festival of Lights or Sankranti, the farmers’ harvest festival. They are cleaned, decorated and are given special food.
In the Hindu tradition cows are not slaughtered, and the consumption of meat is taboo.
In the past, cows that no longer produced milk were fed until their natural death.
Sacred cow, one of the five Mother goddesses
Hindus today describe the cow as a mother that gives the people everything they need for life, thus justifying her special status. To them, the cow is a symbol of welfare and prosperity. In the Atharvaveda (one of the four Vedas), the cow is associated with the god Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna grew up among cows and was nurtured and protected by them. The feeding of a cow is today still considered a ritual to celebrate the god Krishna.
In the past in Hinduism, the cow, like Vishnu, actually had the function of the sustainer; the survival of humans depended on her considerably. She not only produced food, but also valuable fertiliser, habitation, medicine and labour. Even today the ox (the male cow) is the only draught animal for many poor farmers, and therefore the linchpin of agriculture. For millions living in towns and villages the dung is the primary fuel for cooking, and it is depended on for the construction of houses in the villages. It can also be mixed with water and used for cleaning around the house and yard, and the area used for religious services. The cleaning takes place not only on a material level, but also on a spiritual one, according to devout Hindus. The dung has a further use as an effective pesticide. Today various products are manufactured from it commercially. Traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda also uses cow dung and urine to treat various illnesses.
In rural areas in India the ox cart is still a widely used mode of transport
We work together with the Maharshi Goshala Charitable Trust to run weekly workshops in which they demonstrate how to manufacture this medicine.
A mixture of dung, urine, milk, Ghee and Yoghurt, called Panchagavya (roughly translated from Sanskrit: “five products from the cow”) has uses as an organic fertiliser, in Ayurvedic medicine, and as sacrificial food, prasāda in Temple ceremonies.
From an article by Deutschlandfunk Kultur in German, 21/5/2015: Sanjay Bashyam runs a Goshala (cow sanctuary) in the state of Rajasthan. Here he and his staff look after about one hundred cows. Most of the animals have been disowned as they are ill, infertile, old or disabled. Sanjar Bashyam’s guru repeatedly advocated his followers to devote themselves to the welfare of the cow, a species that is considered mother of the universe and of the people, and whose significance is portrayed in various Vedic creation myths. “Our guru said:
‘If you’re seeking tranquillity and peace on this earth, devote yourselves to the cows. Look after them, treat them with love.’
We’ve taken that to heart. We strive to provide a refuge where we can take care of every cow in our cities.”
The manager of the Goshala emphasises that the cow is the most useful creature in the world and repays the respect that devotees bestow upon it.
“The cow gives us five gifts: Urine, which is used in traditional medicine, amongst other things. The dung, which is one of the most important fuels in the whole of India. And the milk, which provides us with yoghurt and butter. The five sacred products from the cow provide us with health! Unfortunately this kind of knowledge has somewhat faded over the last three to four thousand years. But anyone who embraces it all, and devotes themselves extensively to it can enter into the seven galaxies of consciousness!”
Five more families were presented with a cow and calf.
Trip to an organic farm that uses the ZBNF method, to inspect the fields and exchange knowledge.
Networking via a village meeting, with interested parties and guests from the organic scene.
Networking is progressing. The Maharshi Goshala Charitable Trust (our Indian partner organisation) and Mr. Ramanareddy, the new trainer, are supporting the farmers and advising them how to market their organic products.
Mr. Ramanareddy is continuing to conduct regular training in the village. He is an expert on the ZBNF farming method and also runs a farm with Giri dairy cows.
Training continues to take place regularly in the village, mostly in the evenings as the temperature can reach more than 43°c during the day. Climate change is causing unpredictable droughts, as well as rain and sometimes even hail at very unusual times.
An das Dorf ein Geschenk aus China: begehrtes Heilkräuteröl für die schmerzenden Gelenke
The village says “Thank you, China, for the herbal oil!”/ Das Dorf sagt “Danke China für das gute Heilkräuteröl!”
Glückliche neue Kuhhalter. Fünf Kühe konnten diesmal übergeben werden/ Happy owners of new cows. Five cows were handed over this time
Glückliche neue Kuhhalter. Fünf Kühe konnten 2019/ übergeben werden. Bei drei Familien musste das Los entscheiden. Die anderen Anwärter warten und hoffen auf das nächste Jahr! /Happy owners of new cows. Five cows were handed over in 2019. For three families the decision had to be made by drawing lots. The other candidates will have to hope for better luck next year!
Küken. Gleich sitzen alle gemeinsam wieder unter der Henne/ Chicks. Soon they’ll all be together under the hen’s wing
Die Kuh leckt ausgiebig ihr neugeborenes Kälbchen. Wie wunderbar ist die Natur, wenn wir sie lassen/ The cow thoroughly licks her new-born calf. Isn’t nature beautiful
Die neugeborenen Kälbchen werden geliebt und gehegt / The new-born calf is loved and will be taken care of
Trip to another organic farm/ Gemeinsamer Ausflug zu einer anderen Biofarm
Networking, gemeinsamer Besuch einer anderen Bio-Farm/ Networking via a trip to another organic farm
Exchange of knowledge and advice from trainers and experienced organic farmers/ Austausch, Beratung durch Trainer und erfahrene Bio Bauern
Tränen zum Abschied/ Tearful farewell
P.M. begutachtet die KÜhe und Kälber/ P.M. assessing the cows and calves
Patrick Meyer-Glitza, a cow expert from northern Germany and Monika Ratering, Sankranti e.V. were in Kummarigudem at the beginning of the year to talk with the farmers and to examine the donated cows and their calves.
Overall P.M. was satisfied. The cows were assessed on their overall appearance, hooves, ears, hide, eyes, nose, udders, dung etc. However, four or five cows were definitely too thin. We want to do some more work in the areas of animal keeping, tethering and fodder. To this end we have taken on a new trainer. Mr. Ramanareddy is an experienced ZBNF farmer and runs a farm with a dairy operation and Giri cows. He will be offering his continued advice and support to the villagers.
At the beginning of October Rita Baum, from Sankranti e.V., visited the Village of HOPE project in Kummarigudem. Since March 2018, three experienced local trainers have been teaching the farmers the new ZBNF method.
In the following 2 minute video she talks with one of the trainers about the current situation. He has some good news!
Rita Baum in conversation with Mr. Bashker (2 min) // 4 acres = 1.6 ha
On 29th November a discussion was held in the German parliament with the aim of promoting agricultural ecology and sustainable food systems. Dr. Vandana Shiva, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, provided up-to-date information on the subject.
In India and other Himalayan countries there is an increasing movement towards supporting and protecting the environment and the millions of people who live there. The Indian state of Sikkim has switched to 100% organic farming and has recently received several awards for this achievement.
Other states want to follow Sikkim’s example. See Newspaper articles in German.
According to many Hindu scriptures, there is no gift higher in merit than the gift of a cow.
The ZBNF (Zero Budget Natural Farming) method relies on cow dung and urine from the Indian cow. Therefore the cows are the foundation of our project.
The first 27 cows and their calves have arrived, and there are more to come! They were ceremoniously presented to their families in Kummarigudem on 4th March 2018. There was a large festival in the village where we celebrated with all the residents and many guests.
In the future three experienced ZBNF trainers will make field visits every ten days and carry out training. Workshops will also be organised on ZBNF farms. The first training session has already taken place and the trainer from Andhra Pradesh was very enthusiastic about the project and the interest shown by the 56 participants. The women particularly showed a lot of interest.
The Goshala Trust in Kummarigudem organised an Ayurveda medical camp with five Ayurvedic doctors. Many of the villagers attended, were examined and received free Ayurvedic medicine. Only thanks to your donations were we able to set up the medical camp. Almost every villager over the age of 40 suffers greatly with joint pain. The causes have been traced back to the high fluoride content in the groundwater, which is also used for drinking. Within the framework of Village of Hope, Sankranti e.V. is donating a water treatment plant for the village. Next year we’re organising another camp, to which we will also be inviting homeopathic doctors.
During the monsoon season the members of our Indian partner organisation, the Goshala Trust visited the village of Kummarigudem and presented the families with 330 fruit trees, donated by Sankranti e.V. – by YOU! Each family received six young trees which should bear their first fruit after three years.
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