Hansraj College in Delhi has opened a cow protection and research centre on its campus, which has not gone down well with a section of students.
Principal Dr. Rama Sharma said the centre, which has just one cow, will initiate research on “various aspects of the animal” and also provide “pure milk and ghee” for students and the monthly “havan” (prayer ritual) conducted on the college campus. The college also plans to start a gobar gas plant, which will be supported by the centre.
Hansraj College is one of the most reputed colleges under Delhi University and is ranked 14 under the Government’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
Dr Sharma said the centre, named Swami Dayanand Saraswati Gau-Samwardhan ewam Anusandhan Kendra, will be expanded “if the research that is done proves to be useful and beneficial”.
The college principal said the college holds a ‘havan’ every month and needs pure ghee, which will now be provided by the research centre. “We will become self-sufficient in this aspect,” she said.
The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has opposed the college management’s decision, arguing that the “gaushala” has been set up on a piece of land reserved for girls’ hostel.
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“SFI Hansraj unconditionally condemn and protest the construction of a GauShala…at the very site which was reserved for a women’s hostel whose construction has been on hold for many years now… We find it disgusting that our college administration prioritises the ‘protection and promotion’ of cows instead of struggling female students whose interests are being sidelined for such an absurd decision,” read a statement issued by the SFI.
The SFI says the college authorities have set up a “gaushala” in the name of Swami Dayanand Cow-Protection and Research Centre. The principal countered their argument saying the college has no intention to set up a gaushala. The principal said if the college wanted to set up a gaushala, it would have allocated a bigger land area for the purpose.
Meanwhile, a section of students has initiated an online petition to oppose the centre at Hansraj College.