Many years ago, on my way to my village, I happened to meet one of my village cousins playing with his friends. He insisted that I should meet his mother, my paternal aunt, who was at home brewing some ara. As custom demanded, I paid her a visit. Over few cups of ara, I wanted to find out how many cows she owned because cattle in Bhutan are treated at par with other family wealth.
“ Hang ophey ya, wa bu-dang thurr shu cha. Onu bu nuu gurbu thurr phang gana, mala khung thurr rang (just have one cow that gives about one cup milk. Useless cow).“ When I was a little child, I remember that my grandpa had at least milking cow and many calves and bulls. I told my aunt that looking after one cow is not only waste of time, energy and resources but also destroying the life of my cousin. He spent his life running after a cow which gave just one cup of milk. When I suggested her to sell it off, she said that she had to keep the cow for the fertilizer. The cow dungs are good fertilizers she remarked.
Well, fertilizer or no fertilizer, lives of many children are getting wasted chasing after one cow in the villages. Maybe it’s time for co-operative dairy farms, especially those near the town and urban areas so that both the village and town are benefitted. At a rate of one cow business, Bhutan would not only waste the lives of many young children .