Friday, Sep 17, 2021
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Naal, Bikaner, Rajasthan

Naal, Bikaner, Rajasthan
T. Narayan
Naal, Bikaner, Rajasthan
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The clouds play compass here. Leading hundreds of men, women and children, their cattle in tow. Herding homewards. In enthusiastic exodus from the cattle camp at Naal. They had sought refuge here, in the local gou shivir (cow shelter) nine months ago. Sought sustenance and survival for their cattle against the thirst, hunger and perpetual parchment that had gripped their far-flung native hamlets. Till about two weeks back, when news of the errant monsoon's gushing visit into Rajasthan after four years of debilitating drought thundered across the state. And the inmates of Naal's cattle camp started moving out to meet the rains at their homes, in a trickle at first, and now in a surge.

"The cows will have all left our camp in the next few days," says Ram Swaroop Swami, manager of the gou shivir. Eyes scanning the overcast sky, he adds: "We had over 30,000 cows here by peak summer this year." Charity by an affluent Rajasthani family, government subsidy, and the two tubewells had been the camp's fodder: "Now, thanks to the rain god, the cattle should have enough feed."

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