JORHAT, Sept 1 - State Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami has become the first MLA in the State to allot money from his MLA Area Development Fund to a gaushala (cow protection shelter) to buy an ambulance to rescue injured, old, infirm and abandoned cattle.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Goswami, who is the Jorhat MLA, said he had allotted Rs 7 lakh to Geeta Gaushala - a cow protection shelter run voluntarily by a group of people - located on the eastern outskirts here to buy an ambulance to rescue injured cattle.
Goswami handed over a cheque worth Rs 7 lakh to the gaushala management committee on Thursday at a function organised at the Hindi High School at Digambarsuk here. He visited the school to hand over a cheque of Rs 1.87 lakh from his MLA Area Development Fund to carry out welfare work of the school.
Goswami said that the gaushala management committee had approached him over a year ago with a proposal to allot funds for purchase of an ambulance to rescue injured, infirm and abandoned cattle that needed medical care.
The Speaker said that the gaushala committe members told him that they were facing difficulties in rescuing injured cattle (often hit by vehicles) as they have to hire light three or four-wheeler trucks and hence required a well-equipped ambulance.
Goswami said that after visiting the gaushala he saw that the injured and old cattle were taken proper care by the authorities and the gaushala was also carrying out dairy farming.
He said that in view of the cattle shelter home voluntarily rendering service by rescuing cattle which often create problem in traffic movement, he decided to allot funds to buy an ambulance by the gaushala.
The Speaker said that he urged the gaushala committee members to make the ambulance available to people for taking their ailing cattle to the veterinary hospital. After forwarding the proposal to the Government, Goswami was informed that under Government rules, there was provision to allot funds to hospitals or NGOs for procuring ambulance for humans only.
He therefore subsequently requested the Government to sanction funds to the gaushala for an ambulance under the Animal Welfare head. Fortunately, the proposal was granted, thereby becoming the first case of allotting MLA fund to buy an ambulance for needy animals.
He informed that the responsibility to maintain the ambulance will be on the gaushala and the authorities will bear the expenditure to instal a device to lift or download injured cattle.