Vinu recieved the ‘Best Farmer’ award by the Kollam district administration in 2015

In Kerala thirsty cows and elephants are standing in protest against a village panchayat
news Water shortage Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 16:57

In an unusual protest, cows and elephants from the farm of Vinu Kumar, a native of the Kollam district in Kerala, have been staging a protest in front of the Kalluvathukkal Panchayat office demanding water.

Owned and run by Vinu, the Pazhavila Agro Dairy Farm houses around 140 different species of cows, 3 elephants, 100 hens and 50 goats and even a few birds.

Due to the extremely harsh summer, the water in all four wells inside Vinu’s seven acre farm dried up and as a result, he had to seek permission to dig a borewell. While the authorities granted him the permission, it did not go down well with the Kalluvathukkal Panchayat Secretary.

“The Panchayat Secretary issued a stop memo to me and said that he has the power to keep the file with him for 90 days. I had also applied for the license renewal of my farm two months back and he has not acted upon that either,” said Vinu.

He added that the animals on his farm were getting affected due to the shortage of water.

“You have to wash the cows 6 times a day to keep them cool. And even if there is no fodder, these cows have to be given water throughout the day. Three of them have already fallen sick due to lack of water. According to the Animal Welfare Board, even the elephants have to be given water 6 times a day to keep them healthy. All this requires lakhs of litres of water daily. Now, where do I go for water?” he asks.

The cows and elephants were tied in front of the Panchayat office and they wore posters around them. “The Panchayat Secretary who denied us drinking water should follow justice,” read one poster. “Give us drinking water. We will give you milk,” read another. “Panchayat Secretary, give us water and let us live,” another one said.

Calling the protest as the only option, Vinu said that the Panchayat Committee has taken cognizance of the matter and have assured strict action against the Secretary. He has also filed a case against the latter in the High Court.

He added that the Farmers’ Protection Council will carry out strong protests once the election is over.

Vinu recieved the ‘Best Farmer’ award by the Kollam district administration in 2015.


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