Friederike Irina Bruning
Friederike Irina Bruning

At a time when animals across the world are being killed mercilessly, a 59-year-old German woman has taken up the gauntlet of sheltering 1,200 abandoned cows. Friederike Irina Bruning has kept them in her cowshed ‘Surbhai Gauseva Niketan’ in Mathura.

Visit to India

The turning point of her life was when she visited India from Berlin in 1978 as a tourist to seek guidance from a guru. She went to Radha Kund in Mathura. There, a neighbour requested her to buy a cow and her life changed after that.

Read Also: Animals, Babies, Best Friends: They’re All The Same for These Six Women

To understand cows better, she bought books about them and even learnt Hindi.

Her gaushala

“They are like my children and I cannot leave them,” she tells NDTV. Her gaushala is 3,300 sq yard. She provides these cows with food and medicine.

“Today, I have 1,200 cows and calves. I do not have sufficient place to accommodate more as the place is getting smaller. But still I cannot refuse when somebody leaves a sick or injured cow outside my ashram, I have to take her in,” she said.

Bruning has taken a lot of measures to ensure that each cow receives the special care it deserves. For instance, there is a separate enclosure for blind and badly injured cows.

Read Also: Beyond the Cuddle: What can we do to help animals around us?


Besides the space, she requires Rs 22 lakh per month for medicines, foodgrain and salaries of about 60 workers. She mentioned that her father used to financially assist her, but he doesn’t work anymore and cannot help much. Moreover, there is no support from the local authorities.

Observing that things are increasingly getting difficult, she admitted, “I cannot close this. I have 60 people working here and they all need money to support their children and family and I have to take care of my cows, who are my children.”

Another problem she is grappling with is of visa since the Indian government hasn’t given her a long-term visa. Consequently, she has to renew it every year.

“I cannot take Indian nationality as I would lose rental income from Berlin. My father was working in German Embassy in India. It’s the money of my parents that I have put into this gaushala,” she said.

SheThePeople.Tv salutes this woman for her altruistic nature. Her compassion towards animals is appreciable.
Picture credits: PTI
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