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A retired police officer from Puri, Odisha, is on a mission to save stray cattle from accidents and provide them with safe shelter.
Gobind Prasad Mohanty, a former police signals officer, has set up a veterinary hospital and an ashram for stray cattle in Puri district. Mohanty was moved by the plight of stray cattle who are often hit by speeding vehicles. After he retired in 2013, he decided to open a shelter with a few of his friends.
After collecting sufficient funds and infrastructure to open a hospital, in 2018, he set up Sri Jagannath Go Seva Sansthan in Bagha Akhada Mutt.
Mohanty initiative received support from Sankaracharya Swami Neeschalanda Saraswati of Gobardhan Peeth and Paramahamsa Prajnananda of Prajnana Mission. The hospital includes various services for the treatment of cattle, such as Operation Theatre, Intensive Care Unit and indoor treatment as well.
At the hospital, vets of Government Veterinary Hospital and private facilities look after injured animals and treat them for free.
But Mohanty was not satisfied just by providing services of the hospital alone. He observed stray cattle getting injured again in accidents after they were released from the hospital.
Looking at their problems, he decided to set up a cattle shelter. For setting up the shelter, Mohanty approached one of his friends, who owned an agro-industry over five acres of land in Chhaitana village under Puri Sadar block.
Since his friend's industry was shut down for some reasons, he requested his friend to allow him to open a cattle shelter there. After his friend agreed, he opened Niladri Go Seva Ashram that has a number of permanent cow sheds.
In the aftermath of the damage done by the Fani cyclone in 2019, Mohanty spent ₹9 lakh from his savings to repair the structure of the damaged cattle shelter. At present, the ashram is home to 74 cattle and is managed by Mohanty singlehandedly.
"The injured stray cattle that undergo treatment at Sri Jagannath Go Seva Sansthan are now brought here. Along with nutritious fodder, the animals are given vitamins, and veterinarians visit the ashram for regular checkups of the animals. Efforts are now on to cultivate grass in the ashram land for meeting the feed needs of the cattle", Mohanty told The New Indian Express.
Mohanty meets the daily expenses of the ashram from his own pension. He gets help from his daughter, who takes care of a major portion of the monthly rent and recurring expenses. He visits the ashram daily, and he has also given names to many cattle residing at the ashram.
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