Radha Kund, 2018.04.0
Despite promises, authorities have not yet organized a visa extension for Sudevi (Friederike Irina Bruning), and once again she is being told that she has to leave the country. Sudevi is a German national who has been serving Braj’s cows and calves for the last 38 years in her Goshala in Radha Kund.
Four months ago, when Sudevi’s visa was nearing expiration, she was promised a one year visa extension. An extensive campaign was launched to help her with official and social media rallying to the cause of spreading awareness about the injustice of deporting someone who has dedicated her life to selfless service.
During an interview, Hema Malini said that people should not think that she is a foreigner so we don’t need to not help her. Malini said, we need people like Sudevi. Malini said that she will contact External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in regards to Sudevi’s visa and promised to help gather support for the goshala’s work. (watch interview here)
Sudevi said that the Radha Surabhi Goshala needs Rs25 Lakh (US$38,000) per month to run. She collects this amount in donations and also uses her own money from rental properties in Germany. Food and medicines are provided to the cows, calves and bulls, many of which come to the goshala in an injured and sickly state.
Despite her many years of dedicated service, Sudevi’s tension regarding visa is not coming to an end quickly. She cannot become an Indian citizen because that would mean losing the rental income on properties in Germany, which she uses to fund the Radha Kund Goshala.
Sudevi is like a mother to the cows, and has been described as Braj’s Mother Teresa. She lives with the cows and does not even take milk from them for personal use as she wants the cows to feed their calves and the orphaned calves in the shelter.
The goshala now has 1300 cows and the number keeps increasing as sick and injured cows from the streets are dropped off at the goshala. Despite the huge effort needed to raise the funds to feed and care for so many injured and sick cows and calves, Sudevi’s determination makes it possible and the thought of turning away any cow or leaving the cows is horrifying for her.
Around 60 locals work in the Radha Surabhi Goshala and Sudevi has the support of the local community of Radha Kund. Everyone is hoping that the authorities will do the needful so that Sudevi can continue her work of serving Braj’s cows.