A cow herd on the street
Once Sonbhadra district had a large number of cattle, but milk production was negligible. Cattle were seen as an asset for agriculture as they gave dung and urine. The Ashram brought Haryana cows (in 1971), crossbred cows (in 1984) and also crossbred bulls in the area. Several people started small dairies by taking loans from banks, but it was realised soon that without arrangements for fodder supply and veterinary service, the success rate is less than expected, particularly among poor people, and both people and banks suffered losses. The Ashram grows green fodder and motivates villagers to grow fodder. The practice of free grazing for cattle proves a hindrance to it.
For improving the breed of cows, the Ashram initiated an artificial insemination programme in 1980, but it did not succeed.
The Ashram has trained persons for veterinary service and is reaching the benefits to remote areas. As a result, treatment and immunisation of cattle has seen a marked increase. Government doctors are involved in training of village personnel and now the government department also has become active.
To further animal husbandry, the subject is incorporated in the training schedule of village field workers.