Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

* How did Holy Cow Foundation start? Was there any particular incident that triggered it?

In 2012 I started by sponsoring a gau gras rickshaw to collect daily rotis , vegetable peels , aata from my colony to feed stray cows. On being made aware of the pitiable conditions of indigenous cows and the various benefits they can give to humanity, I decided to take the initiative to do something and started the Holy Cow Foundation to make the desi cow economically sustainable.

* Why the name Holy Cow Foundation ?

Holy cow was chosen for 3 reasons … 1) the cow is considered holy in India and yet she is a picture of neglect so we want to draw peoples’ attention to it 2) we are making products from cow dung and urine which is an object of wonderment for people who don’t know , hence an exclamatory term “Holy cow” .. 3) We want to bring the urbanites to connect with the cow so an international name to which all can relate

* Tell us more about the initiative...how many formal members, volunteers, how it's run, etc.

3 Founder Trustee, 4 Employees, and very few Volunteers . We have a sharing office space with our sister NGO(Animal Rights International) in lado Sarai and from here it is our endeavor to create a marketing platform for panchgavya products. We also focus on awareness campaigns, talks, seminars, training programs etc. Gaushalas are periodically visited to see how they function and if any inputs can be given to improve them or learn from them. We also connect people from all over to gaushalas near to them so they can be supported. Holy Cow organizes a Music Fest every year to raise awareness and funds for its functioning. Each One Feed One is an initiative for people to support looking after cows in gaushalas by adopting a cow at Rs15,000 a year.

* What is your background and what did you do before this?

I have been active in animal welfare since I was 15yrs inspired by Crystal Rogers I started Friendicoes , one of the first animal centers in Delhi. I Organised the very first Pet Show in India back in 1975 with the concept of raising healthy and happy pets rather than giving importance to breeds and looks of a pet. My article and concept "Killing the Crisis Not the Animal" was the beginning of the ABC ( Animal Birth Control Project for Stray Dogs) at the governmental level. I also worked with street children through the Salaam Balak Trust and aided other organisations to raise funds or collect relief materials during natural calamities. On being made aware of the pitiable conditions of indigenous cows and the various benefits they can give to humanity, I decided to take the initiative and founded the Holy Cow Foundation.

* How many gaushalas do you run? Can you explain how it works—do you work with existing gaushalas, do you construct new ones? How many are you currently looking after? What are your future plans?

We don’t run any gaushala as we don’t want to be tied down to running A gaushala but we want to help MANY gaushalas attain economic sustainability. We help gaushalas learn how to make panchgavya products and even help them set up production units. Marketing quality products we create a buyer base for such products. We also give Ad hoc support to really needy gaushalas for construction . Till now we have given technical know how to many and have been successful in making one gaushala in Noida economically sustainable. Project is ready to start in another gaushala in Gurgaon. We are very keen to make a pilot project in a village under MPLAD or CSR support , to prove that not a single cow or its progeny need leave its village to end up in a slaughter house.

* Many people are giving up milk and its products due to veganism and also animal cruelty. What is your opinion on this?

Veganism is a very sensitive issue and I fully support it in todays scenario. I myself turned a vegan a few months back. Veganism is good for your and the animals health. But , its not going to happen overnight and till the time its catches on the welfare aspect in dairy industry must be initiated. Also, hardcore Vegans will not support any commercial activity from animals. Infact they will not buy panchgavya products also. I honour their commitment but my commitment is to save cows and today if the cow cannot earn its keeper money no one will support her or her calves. So I must make use of her dung and urine at least be it through manure, pesticides or the 15 products being marketed by Holy cow foundation. For me the welfare approach is important. Dairy industry is the feeder to slaughter industry so cutting out dairy is good but can we not look at Ahimsak dairy? Where the welfare of the cow and its calves is not compromised? A commercial dairy where free movement is restricted does not qualify as Ahimsak. Cows must be allowed to roam freely and graze wild grasses, and if that can’t be done the milk got is poison.

* What are the many ways in which the cow benefits us?

The desi cow is virtually a living hospital and factory rolled into one. In my entire conversation when cow is mentioned it refers to the Indian desi cow … Bos Indicus . As the exotic cows are a different breed Bos Taurus and the composition of their milk, dung and urine are totally different. There is a hospital in Vardha, Gujarat which treats Cancer patients by Cow Therapy and I have met one young man who recovered after that treatment. The feedback we receive from people using Holy cow products is very heartening and every day we realize more and more that benefits from the cow is not hearsay but an actual reality.

* Some people are queasy about the use of cow urine, while others swear by its benefits. What is your response to those who are reluctant to try products containing cow urine? What are the benefits?

Its really each one to choose for themselves. They might not shirk from eating the entrails of a diseased, old, tired, scared, thirsty animal but will not try urine to cure an illness. Whereas, some people have cured their 3rd stage cancer by drinking this miracle fluid. Do we even care to know what we are consuming daily and just because its packaged nicely, has a MNC behind it we are taking in harmful chemicals all the time. Do we even bother to know what goes on behind the closed walls of a slaughterhouse? If slaughterhouses had glass windows everyone would be a vegetarian. We put harmful chemicals into and upon our bodies from the first thing in the morning..the toothpaste and the soap. Why was the cow worshiped in ancient India, why do the villagers still plaster their houses with cow dung and urine, why is panchgavya a necessary purifier in rituals , why do they equate cow urine with Ganges water ? These are a few questions modern India must ask themselves. Was our ancient wisdom hearsay or did it contain facts. Isn’t this something which we need to verify to satisfy today’s scientific temperament. R & D is definitely required on this science and am happy that todays Govt. is taking interest in revival of our old wisdom.

* In what form do you use the cow urine? In which products is it used and what are the benefits—Weight Loss Tonic, Joint Pain Oil, Shampoo, etc?

Cow urine is mostly used as a distillate and is present in most of our products other than Herbal Tea, chawanprash, nasal drop and Ghee. It is either had directly as in the Health Tonic and Weight loss Tonic or is used to infuse herbs in it like as in Joint pain oil, face pack, body scrub. Its distillate is added to the shampoo. Cow urine contains copper which cuts fat deposit in the body. It also contains enzymes which rejuvenate and repair old cells. It works as an anti oxidant and is excellent for the liver. It’s an elixir and has to be tried to know its true benefits.

* Could you tell us the importance of panchgavya and its significance? Does Holy Cow also make this?

Panchgavya is the 5 things a cow gives us viz milk,curd,ghee,urine and dung. All our products barring herbal tea contain one or more of panchgavya. A concoction of all 5 is used as a purificatory substance in religious rituals and also as a very potent fertilizer. We do not make this as its expensive and has shorter shelf life. Also, we wish to focus more on products made by using cow dung and urine rather than milk,curd and Ghee. We do sell Ghee but in small quantities as its difficult to source pure and Ahimsak ghee.

* How do you get your products? Is it outsourced or do you do it yourself? Do you also offer training in this?

At present we source our products from Shri Mataji Gaushala in Barsana where 35,000 cows are being cared for under the of patronage Ramesh Baba, a true saint. The products are being manufactured under the strict guidance of Dr Mukesh Soni , an Ayurvedic doctor. None of our products contain harmful chemicals and the best ingredients are used. Yes we do give training in the making of some of the simpler products like tooth powder, gaunyle, dhoop sticks , cow logs, cow pots , various manures ,and pest repellants for plants. Anyone keeping cows can learn and make these products to earn more. Our purpose being to prevent a single cow or its progeny from being abandoned or sold for slaughter.

* Maneka gandhi recently spoke about gaunyl as a replacement for phenyl. Can you tell us more about it and why it's better

I heard that some people had made phenyl , a popular floor cleaner in India using cow urine . So I got a bottle to use at home. But, my family did not like the odor it was leaving. So I approached Mr Ramneesh Tangri an IITian who runs a gaushala as a social, spiritual service. I asked him if we could improve it as I am always looking for such products which can be widely used. He started working on it and after many trials we were able to make the perfect product which left a pleasant fragrance after use. Next we got it lab tested as I wanted to use it not only in homes but in schools,hospitals,dispensaries etc. The lab report was even better than we expected. I introduced it to Mrs Maneka Gandhi and she recommended its use in SGACC (animal hospital). They started using it and we were supplying them 30lts every month. They were happy with the product. I asked Mrs Gandhi if it could be introduced to other people. The next thing I knew I was given an appointment with Kendriya Bhandar Director to show the product. We left samples and report copies with them and were soon given a trial order. Rest, like they say is history. Mrs Gandhi’s office was the first to use it and she so liked it that she sent letters to all Ministers, Governors of States recommending it. The media got whiff of it and they blew it up…. Indian offices to be cleaned with cow urine , Don’t Mope Over Phenyl! Cows have come Home, etc etc. The Daily Mail ,UK, also wrote about it . It is better for the most obvious reason that it does not contain harmful chemicals and serves the same purpose that ordinary phenyl does. A study revealed that safai Karamcharis life span was shorter than normal due to constant exposure to toxic chemicals in cleaning products. Also, our Gaunyle, as we like to call it, is not harmful to pets as was proved when a friends’ dog tore the bottle to bits without being harmed and she called to thank me!

* In what form do you use the cow urine? In which products is it used and what are the benefits—Weight Loss Tonic, Joint Pain Oil, Shampoo, etc?

Cow urine is mostly used as a distillate and is present in most of our products other than Herbal Tea, chawanprash, nasal drop and Ghee. It is either had directly as in the Health Tonic and Weight loss Tonic or is used to infuse herbs in it like as in Joint pain oil, face pack, body scrub. Its distillate is added to the shampoo. Cow urine contains copper which cuts fat deposit in the body. It also contains enzymes which rejuvenate and repair old cells. It works as an anti oxidant and is excellent for the liver. It’s an elixir and has to be tried to know its true benefits.

* In what form do you use the cow urine? In which products is it used and what are the benefits—Weight Loss Tonic, Joint Pain Oil, Shampoo, etc?

Cow urine is mostly used as a distillate and is present in most of our products other than Herbal Tea, chawanprash, nasal drop and Ghee. It is either had directly as in the Health Tonic and Weight loss Tonic or is used to infuse herbs in it like as in Joint pain oil, face pack, body scrub. Its distillate is added to the shampoo. Cow urine contains copper which cuts fat deposit in the body. It also contains enzymes which rejuvenate and repair old cells. It works as an anti oxidant and is excellent for the liver. It’s an elixir and has to be tried to know its true benefits.

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