Friederike Irina Bruning playing with a cow in Mathura on Monday. Photo/ANI
Friederike Irina Bruning playing with a cow in Mathura on Monday. Photo/ANI

Just want to serve cows, won't return honour: German Padma awardee

ANI | Updated: May 28, 2019 15:03 IST

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 27 (ANI): After threatening to return her Padma Shri over denial of visa extension, German national Friederike Irina Bruning on Monday asserted that she will not give back the honour which was "bestowed on her with love and respect."
Bruning, one of the awardees this year, made it to the list for taking care of sick and abandoned cows for more than two decades in Mathura.
According to a media report, she had threatened to return her award after the Ministry of External Affairs denied to extend her visa.
Surrounded by cows at a 'gaushala' in Mathura, Bruning spoke about her love of bovines and expressed concerns over their condition.
"How can I return something which was given to me with love and respect? But, if I am not being allowed to continue the work which I was honoured for then why did they award me in the first place?" Bruning, 61, questioned.
On Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a tweet, said that she has sought a report over visa extension denial to her. Bruning's visa is due for expiry on June 25.
"I am not earning money in this country nor I am begging on the streets. I just want to serve the abandoned cows," she said.
On the prospects of returning back to her native country, Bruning said, "I can go back home but then what will happen to these cows? Every day there are 15-20 cases of cows getting mauled on the roads."
Also known as Sudevi Mataji, she spoke of the religious importance of cows and said,"Indian cows are special. I don't even consider them as animals. Lord Krishna used to be their cowboy and they are described as an abode of God in scriptures."
"People desert them once they are past milk-yielding age. The government should consider buying cow dung so that keeping a cow becomes a viable option," Bruning said, giving an advice to authorities. (ANI)