Amid the nationwide debate over demands to ban cow slaughter, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir today underlined the need to protect the cow by setting up dedicated sanctuaries. "The Centre is considering a proposal to set up 'cow sanctuaries' and initiate 'project cow' on the lines of 'project tiger'," Ahir said. He was addressing a national conference on "BOS INDICUS - The Glorious Indian Cow", organised by Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS) at the Bombay Stock Exchange in south Mumbai. "It is difficult to maintain cows which are not self-sustaining and we need to protect them by setting up sanctuaries for them," the minister said. The conference was organised with a view to bring about an awareness among people about protection of the cow and its benefit for economy. On the occasion, a mobile application, 'Cow Connect', aimed at providing information about various breeds of the cow, cow products and their manufacturers etc, was launched. In a message to participants of the conference, ISKCON spiritual leader Radhanath Swami Maharaj said, "Cow protection is the most important business of the society. Human civilisation will advance only on the basis of Brahminical culture and cow protection. Cow is the foundation of the world economy. Cow protection is not just about prevention of slaughtering but about making cows happy from the moment they are born till they naturally leave their bodies". Hrishikesh Mafatlal, chairman of Mafatlal Group of Industries, called upon the industries and corporates to undertake looking after the cows as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) because "the mindset of business and industry is ingrained in the Indian culture of giving back to the society a part of the earnings". Also watch: Speaking on the debate over banning slaughter of the cow, Govinda Das, president, ISKCON Girgaum Chowpatty temple, said the collective consciousness of the nation should be respected as against individual choice. Maharashtra unit VHS president Ajay Sankhe and VHS secretary Jagdish Shetty also spoke.