In a surprise move, the winners of a local cricket tournament in Vadodara, Gujarat, were awarded with cows! Something which is currently more valued in India than trophy or money.

In the wake of controversy regarding cow slaughter, the organisers took this opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of cow. The match was organised by the state’s Rabari community, who are predominantly pastoralists, according to an ANI report.

The report suggests that Rabari Community leaders in Gujarat say that the move is aimed at raising awareness on cow protection. Prakash Rabari, the organiser of the tournament reportedly said that with this tournament, the community wanted to send out a message across that cow is a very important component in our society. Rabari community has always protected cattle as it their source of livelihood.

While the man of the match was awarded a cow, each member of the winning team was gifted a ‘Gyr’ calf.

“We want the state to recognize cow as the National Animal, only then can we save them,” a player named Raju Rabari reportedly said.

Also read: Gujarat govt begins to create Aadhaar like UID for cows, implants chip in cattle’s ear

The unique move comes amid a raging debate on a recent notification by the Centre which banned the sale of cattle for slaughter at market places.The notification is facing opposition from several quarters, with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying it destroys the “spirit of federalism” as livestock is a state subject.

Earlier in May, after the Centre proposed a plan to have Aadhaar-like unique identification numbers for cows, Gujarat constituted a team of technicians and asked them to ensure that thousands of cows in the state are mapped. These technicians were assigned a very delicate job i.e. to insert chips into the ears of cows for their digital tracking.

Also read: A primary school in MP has turned into a cowshed!

The first phase of UID will cover nearly 37,000 cows in a state which has over six million cattle. A central server system has been set up by state’s “Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board” at Gandhinagar that will collate all the data.

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