Mansooruddin Faridi/New Delhi
Madhusudan Gaushala in Chandyana in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh is home to 90 cows and 16 (male) calves that were abandoned by their owners for not being useful anymore and some ended up sustaining injuries and starvation.
Here in this cow shelter, every weekend they get special treatment, a pat, extra care, and the touch of love that animals need as much as humans do. It’s when Zubaid-ur-Rehman, the founder of the shelter visits them and becomes a hands-on caretaker of the mute animals.
The villagers know him by his nickname of Babban Miyan and they also know that he is a millionaire and a successful businessman.
Zubaid-ur-Rehman in Madhusudan Gaushala
Zubaid-ur-Rehman is the owner of a 40- acre mango orchard; his big real estate business is flourishing and so is the utensil factory in New Delhi. His wealth runs into billions and yet his weekends are meant for tending to the cows in the shelter that he has named after Lord Krishna.
Speaking to Awaz-the Voice, Baban Mian said his businesses are running fine and he has no dearth of anything yet the respect and recognition he has received after opening the Madhusudan Goshala is indescribable.
He said, "The passion for cow service is inherited from my late mother Hamidunnisa Khanam. She reared four to five cows and took care of them with the spirit of service." He says that his mother had always wished her son too would look after the cows and serve them. “She also loved River Ganga,” he says.
Zubaid-ur-RehmanZubAfter his mother passed away in 2015, Babban Mian set out to fulfill her wish. He set up a regular goshala and named it after Krishna. He started with 25 cows and today the number has gone up to 90 besides 16 calves.
Taking cares of the cows
Interestingly, Chandiana has an interesting past. It’s one of the 12 villages, known as the Twelve Basis (12 Basti) Pathan Settlement.
During the reign of Sher Shah Suri, some Pathan families came to India with Isa Khan Niazi and settled here. It may be recalled that Sher Shah Suri established the Suri Empire in northern India in the 16th century.
Establishing Goshala and running it was not an easy task. Baban Mian even had to face opposition from many people. But he says like his mother, he believes in the Ganga-Jamni civilization. “ We have named Goshala after Lord Krishna,” he says meaningfully.
Zubaid-ur-Rehman with his degrees
Needless to say, his work has earned his brickbats as well. He takes it in his stride, “ Some people were happy and some angry; it didn't affect me because I think differently. It doesn't matter to me that I do something that Hindus do. I have also faced difficulties from some relatives, but most people appreciated the work.”
Baban Mian says that serving cows gets him Allah’s blessings and it’s showing gratitude to Him for giving him everything.
He admits it’s expensive to take care of more than 100 cows and it must be run as a self-sustaining unit. Recently he got milking cows too to meet the expenses of running this place. It is going to be a rare venture.
According to Baban Mian, he is able to earn Rs. One lakh per month from the sale of the milk and it helps him meet part of the expenses of running the place.
Zubaid-ur-Rehman milking a cow
In this day and age, Baban Mian has become an example, he believes in respecting the religious sentiments of all. His religious tolerance is also commendable.
He says Islam does not forbid the use of beef. But we drink cow's milk, how can we kill it to eat it and there is a law against it, and we must follow the law.
"Every festival we give free milk to the needy. Not only this, milk is also given free for the marriage of any poor person in the area," he told Awaz-the Voice. “Since our purpose is not business, we are also helping villagers by giving them milk and milk products.”
His act of protecting cows has attracted the attention of even celebrities. He counted that personalities who have visited the Madhusudan Gaushala.
"Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, boxer Sangram Singh, the cast of TV show Bhabi ji ghar pe hain, political personalities like Manoj Tiwari and people like Raza Murad came here to see it," he says.