Hyderabad: As an essential item, milk can be sold or purchased for regular use in open markets anywhere. Based on quality, one litre of milk is sold between Rs 60 and Rs 80 nowadays.
However, in a village located in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district, the milk is not sold or bought and the locals do not know its cost per litre. The villagers are accustomed to following a norm or a rule against selling or buying the milk for a long time and, surprising as it may sound, offer it free of cost.
In Ganjihalli village in Gonegandla Mandal of Kurnool district, milk is available to everyone for free. With 1,100 families, the village has a population of 4,750 and there are about 120 cows and 20-plus buffalos. They produce about 1,000 litres of milk every day.
The villagers have been following this tradition for a long time, so much so that hotels and tea stalls operating in the village have to buy milk from other villages for their business.
About four decades ago, one ‘Bade Saheb’ lived in the village who would get milk from a man named Nagi Reddy in the village free of cost. One day his son Hussain Saheb went to Nagi Reddy’s house for milk with a bowl in his hand. But he had to return empty-handed as the cow was dead. On learning this, Bade Saheb asked his son to fetch milk from any other house in the village.
Hussain Saheb failed to get milk as the other cow owners refused. After this, Bade Saheb reportedly gave a new lease of life to the dead cow of Nagi Reddy.
Then he said that the villagers should not sell or buy milk and the milk that is produced should be offered freely among everyone. He warned that families that defy his advice will face ruin. He also suggested that no one should try to kill cows and ruin their fodder.
The villagers who believe in this tradition have been following this norm ever since. Those who violated this norm suffered financial crisis, claimed some villagers.