This is continuation from the story 1:
The next day Mr Ram was in the higher office with the filled in forms to get the sign of Vet-authority. The boss just handed over the form to some subordinate and said, “Pradhan, see what can be done?” Ram followed Pradhan who gave it to some Diary section to entry into register. Come next week remarked the clerk. It took nearly 2 months and with 17 running and production of 12 vital documents such as, proof of being a legal ancestor to his grandfather “Yama- dhar” (Thank GOD he is still alive!); to bring out the signed precious document from government.
Ram marchedinto the Bank with these bunch of papers and met some officials to get a loan. ‘Sir, please give me a loan, I will do a dairy farm’. No response! After an hour of waiting the small manager did see the bunch half from starting and rest of the end. ‘See Ram Chandra Babu! Now a days dairy loans are closed .Come next July, if loans have come; we will see’. He went on to say many things: 5 lakhs is too much, any experience in dairy farming? People take loan and we go on asking to repay; still no payment! Staff shortage and we are too busy now for year ending this December. Ram did emphasize that The Bada-Ves of District has recommended. “O.K” said the manager, “keep it here & write your mobile number on it”. Ram never returned to bank nor did the bank ever call.
At last the family decided to pool resources and constructed a cattle house, making cut shorts to the sanctioned plan. Spending 1.5 lakh on house, left little money for purchase of cows. Hand loan from village SHGs on 3 paisa interest was brought to adjust. Thanks to ‘Behera’the village Gwalato arrange this loan!
Bringing cows were easy. Every day some new address of intending sellers, was pouring in. MrBehera was chosen the right person to select the cows. After all, he is in this business since his grandfather and knows every tit bit of cows and he is a good milking walah! A giant in cow-medicines too. ‘Mantras’ also; to take away and bring back milk- he knows they say…! Collects milk from door-step and pays money instantly. Of course, If emergency he can give a loan as advance for next milk (next lactation!) Who cares, if doesn’t take milk in the evening?
5 jersey cows with large udders were unloaded from a truck one night .With much fanfare (Haldi& Gold bath rasam, some shubh mantras and NO effect of evil eye precautions) all of them were tied tight to stanchions. Their calves! Two were males -we did not bring. One-didn’t have a calf. One was I year old and the owners wife didn’t give it – we had to save money you know. There lies the female jersey calf of that cow. Everybody rushed to the truck to fetch the calf. It was in a moribund condition; nearly dying. Who made this one such a nuisance? MrBehera said don’t mind the calves, in jursy they don’t need them. But the driver whispered to Ram “saabji! The middle-farmer ‘Dalalji’ didn’t give milk to the calf; else it could have cut the milk liters! Liter 500 haina!
Ram or any of his family members didn’t know how to milk a cow. Of course his mother knew feeding of cows in her paternal days. Some rice was parboiled with wheat bran and fed to the new comers. ‘So thirsty’ said Behera and took to milking each of them with his water soaked hands,while letting the cows eat. The cows gave less than half of promised. Don’t worry milk will come in a few days. After all milk is dependent on what you feed how you feed – it’s really in the mouth!
The picture was same next day and the family consulted all those who have jursy, baidyas, to find a remedy. Many many free advice came pouring in. ‘Jursy need bathing twice a day’, someone advised and it was promptly carried out. A pump was installed & cows were water-flashed with every cleaning of the byre. The liter was same.
After a couple of days some cows started panting, disliked feed, even didn’t drink much. Ah! It’s some health problem. A cow-doctor was called in. 35 years’ experience. Just looked at the animals (is it a pint of glee perhaps on his face- why?) and he was visibly angry. Familymembers, workers &MrBehera all glued to his chair & tea cup.
Fever 105 he declared. Must have consulted me, before you brought! Ok. He dipped 2 big old syringes in Luke warm water and gave a good injection ‘oxytetracyclinehydrochloride.IP into one buttock and another better one, but costly one, drawn from a label torn big bottle kept in his pocket, into another. The startled animals moved painfully. He gave a fist blow to each- be silent!
The cows dropped milk further although the heat was gone. Worms I say! Give a costly medicine to all, Injection from my side and purchase worm medicine from RELATIVE medi-store. Done. The next day milk level got down further and he was not called but contacted on mobile. “I am in meeting, give calcium to each Ok, my son, will give the saline” Sometimes it was mastitis, vaginitis or a metritis or gloosso-pharyngitis , Sometimes Thelaria or a cow malaria or it was typhoid.Dung test Blood test Urine test … but no report just chits.
Thus proceeded the saga of a drowning dairy farm till the head of the family sold out every animal to butcher.
There was credit overdue at 1) Feed store 2) Medicine store 3) SHG deposit 4) straw supplier 5) Electric Bill and the 6) two worker wages of back months. MrBehera was clean enough to realize his milking charges for 6 months (from start of farm) and bike bills to carry doctors many a time (he showed the list!) towards adjustment of cost of last 2 months of milk sold to him. Ram gave a sigh of relief, when the cow sale cost could meet the SHG loan.
The family initially felt sorry but was relaxed after the debts was cleared by sale of a small patch of land to the next door neighbor. Felt relaxed! Why?They could now go to visita relative or attend some social or religious function .FREEDOM!MrBehera tells,“I told them from the starting, Ram!it’s not for You ; Go elsewhere and do naukery”Thank GOD! Rama has listened to him. Our Ram, is an operator now in Surat Spinning Mills and earns 3000 a month.
Story 1 ends here. Please wait to see what happened to HARI’s dairy farming in story 2
CONCLUDED. Dr. Ranjit Dash B.Vsc. & A.H. For use of GIR Odisha Group only. Date 27.5.17