- Steady uptick in funds donated by firms to cow shelters since 2014
- Until 2013, reporting on corporate social responsibility funding patchy
- Firms spend minimum 2 per cent of average net profits on CSR
An examination of the annual reports of Bombay Stock Exchange's top 500 listed companies found that at least 11 companies spent Rs 1.42 crore between 2015 and 2017 on cow-related funding through CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
NDTV's analysis found the annual reports of these 11 companies showed either no donations to cow shelters or cow welfare prior to 2014, or contained no information on their CSR spending.
Until 2013, the year the government mandated all corporates to spend a minimum of 2% of their average net profits on CSR, and to report those details, reporting on CSR funding was patchy.
Separately, in our inquiries, almost all recipients of CSR funds - a total of 16 cow shelters - confirmed that they had not received any corporate donations of note prior to 2014.
The biggest donor based on our analysis is Poddar Pigments, a Jaipur-based chemicals company which donated Rs 68 lakhs to 2 gaushalas in the last financial year, of which Rs 47 lakhs went to Sri Gouri Shankar Gaushala, in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
The gaushala (cow shelter) told us that was the first time they have received corporate support.
Poddar Pigments also donated Rs 21 lakhs to a cow shelter through the Hanuman Prasad Smarak Samiti Trust in the same year. The President of the Trust, according to their website is Vishnu Hari Dalmia, one of the most prominent leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a right-wing organisation with its roots in the RSS.
14 other gaushalas or cow welfare organisations in 7 states have received amounts from CSR funds ranging from Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 30,000. A bulk of these cow shelters are concentrated in the Hindi heartland - Rajasthan , Haryana, Delhi and UP.
Shelters in Calcutta, Jharkhand, and Gujarat have also received CSR funds.
In Haryana, NDTV visited Shri Haryana Kurukshetra Gaushala, which has received Rs 3.37 lakhs from Jindal Saw, a pipes manufacturing company.
Its president Satya Prakash Singal told NDTV that there has been an uptick in CSR funds in the recent past.
They have also got funds from the Haryana government after the BJP came to power in that state. Mr Singal said, "We have received Rs 3.82 lakh and Rs 4 lakh in the past two years from the Haryana cow welfare department."
Jindal Saw has also donated Rs 2.75 lakhs in 2016-17 to Shri Vaishnav Agarsain Gaushala, in Hisar, Haryana.
Rajendra Khedia, the president of the trust that runs the gaushala told NDTV that cow vigilantes who liberate "captured" cows, bring them to this shelter. "We ensure that the cows which are being taken in trucks are freed and bring them over to take care of them to this gaushala, we are in contact with the gausevaks who stop people from carrying cows illegally", he said.
Queries sent to Poddar Pigments and Jindal Saw went unanswered.
The other cow shelters which have received funds include Rajaldesar Gaushala in Churu district of Rajasthan which received Rs 9.2 lakhs from Genus Power Infrastructures, a Rajasthan based power solutions company 2015-16.
On its website, it shows its breeding programme centre being inaugurated by Rajesh Rathore, a BJP MLA from Churu and a minister in the Rajasthan state cabinet.
A Gujarat based NGO, Kamdhene Trust received Rs 5 lakh in 2015-16 from automotive component maker Motherson Sumi for an old age home for cows.
Motherson Sumi also paid 5 lakhs to the Earth Saviours Foundation, a non profit based in Gurugram for its cow shelter's maintenance in 2015-16. When NDTV called the president of the NGO, Mr Ravi Kalra, he said "We shut the cow shelter some time back because the NGO thought of using the space for opening a homeless shelter. We donated the cows we had and gave them to other cow shelters."
In the same year as above, Geeta Dham, a non-profit trust set up near Jodhpur received Rs two lakh from a company called Genus Power Infrastructures for cow welfare.
In a statement, Genus said, "Our concerned authority is not available to share the details these days."
A cow shelter run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON too received CSR funding of Rs 5 lakh in 2015-16 from Genus Power.
Associated Stones Industries, a stone supplier donated Rs 25.83 lakh to a cow shelter in Ramganjmandi in Kota, Rajasthan.
La Opala RG, a tableware manufacturer donated Rs 2.11 lakh and Rs 1 lakh between 2014 and 2017 to Sri Laxmangarh Pinjrapole Gousala based in Sikar district of Rajasthan. La Opala also paid Rs 70,000 to Sri Gopal Goushala in Madhupur, Jharkhand, and Rs 6 lakhs in 2016-17 to Calcutta Pinjrapole Gaushala, a cow shelter in Kolkata.
Man Group of Industries, a Mumbai based gas and oil pipeline manufacturer donated Rs 2.5 lakh to a cow shelter in Kutch, Gujarat in 2014-15.
None of these companies responded to NDTV's queries.