Meet Krishnan, The Caregiver for Cows
72-year-old Krishnan Nanupillai, dedicates his days caring for close to 500 cows, oxen, bulls and calves throughout the city of Vrindavan in India’s Uttar Pradesh.
The Perak-born animal lover left his high paying job of managing Maldives Airlines’ logistics in 2008 to become a part of Care for Cows Vrindavan, a non-profit organisation devoted to the care and rehabilitation of abandoned and sick cows and bulls around the area.
Finding A New Purpose In Life
Having visited the city of Vrindavan a couple of times with his late wife, Krishnan grew to love the city especially when he saw how freely animals roamed around co-existing with the locals as if they were equals.
It was during one of his visits that he stumbled upon the organisation as he attended a service by Kurma Rupa, the founder of Care for Cows Vrindavan. “Upon seeing the cows, I desired, if God permits I will come and serve these cows”, was the silent wish Krishnan made to himself.
After the passing of his wife, Krishnan longed for a new purpose in life and it seemed like a right time to fulfill his wish as both his kids were settled in life with their own families.
Adapting To A New Environment
Initially, Krishnan worked for the organisation without any remuneration, in return he was provided with a room and free lunches.
The first few months consisted of gruelling labour work such as cleaning the ghosala (shelter for cows), sweeping, and clearing cow dung which to his dismay meant on average 13 times within 24 hours!
Slowly but surely he started enjoying the work, once the cows and bulls got comfortable with him, their warm greetings and occasional hugs brought immense bliss to him.
“Seeing the cows light up with excitement when they are fed watermelons and occasionally ladhus (a traditional Indian sweet) instead of hay or grass always fills my soul with satisfaction, losing a cow that’s been under our care always hurts and I can never get used to the pain”, Krishnan says of the highs and lows of his work. On average, the cows under their care could live between 20 to 25 years.
In 2015, Krishnan’s beloved friend and founder of Care for Cows, Kurma Rupa, passed away and the entire responsibility of managing the organisation fell on his shoulders.
Krishnan introduced a new policy that prioritised sick and injured cows and once the cows regained their strength or recovered from their injuries, they will be released back to nature or where they were found.
Sick or weak cows will be given a space in the goshala and receive extra care and attention. Today, the organisation also ensures that every cow in the area is well-fed. Every morning, volunteers go around the city of Vrindavan on an electric rickshaw filled with green grass to feed cows abandoned on the streets.
Looking Forward To What Lies Ahead
When asked what lies ahead for him, Krishnan reminisced how the last twelve and a half years were some of his happiest times but alas age is catching up. “As I get older, my body can’t handle extreme weather. I also really miss Malaysian food and my grand kids, they’re what I miss the most.”
Krishnan recently discovered a ghosala in our very own Janda Baik in Pahang.
Chances are our very own caregiver for cows might just return home and continue pursuing his calling to care for abandoned cows!
*Featured image sourced from Facebook/Krishnan Nanupillai