It was forty years ago that Friederike Irina Bruening from Germany landed in India as a tourist. But after that she has become a true India and staying here forever. An animal rights activist, Friederike Irina Bruening was bestowed with Padma Shri, the highest civilian award in 2019.
Now residing at Radha Khund in Varanasi, she is also known as “Gau Mata Ki Aashraydaatri” for her love and care of cows. Never being part of the cow politics, which is quite rampant in Northern parts of India, she has always loved cows and had led her life in the care of these animals.
Also known as Sudevi Mataji, she was born in Dublin in Germany and was always attracted to spirituality. In 1978, she landed in India with her family after her studies in Germany and felt a loving for the place. She was attracted by the tradition and culture of the country that she stayed in the country for ever.
After reaching Radha Kund, she became the disciple of Guru Srila Tinkudi Gosvami. It was after this that she became a lower of cows and also other stray animals. Once a neighbour asked her to buy a cow , which she has always said had transformed her life. It was from here that she “Surabhi Gauseva Niketan” in Radha Kund in 1996 and now shelters about 2000 cows and calves.
The gaushala is spread across 3,300 square yards. It is said that she needs almost Rs 20 lakh for maintaining the gaushala, which she had been finding it hard. Moreover, the number of cows is increasing every day and whenever an abandoned cow is seen, the gaushala is ready to take care of it. And the burden has been increasing each day.
She had once told the media that the cows are like her children and she could not leave them. At a time when people are only greedy and in the run for making money, Friederike Irina Bruening stands apart for her devotion and sacrifice for the stray animals.