Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
To integrate an economic value proposition to its agenda of cow protection, the Uttar Pradesh government is promoting the manufacture of a slew of consumer products with cow dung.
A large number of self help groups (SHG) in UP, especially run by women, are engaged in the production of natural wall paint with cow dung in Badaun and Unnao districts.
The process of starting similar production is now underway in Varanasi, Mathura, Aligarh, Amethi and Pratapgarh districts. The cow dung paint is said to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, eco-friendly, heat resistant, affordable, non-toxic and odourless.
UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said the state government will promote the project even as he directed officials to conduct training of more SHGs in this novel craft.
Moreover, other products including agarbatti (incense sticks), dhoop batti (scented material), hawan (fire ritual) material, flower pots, idols, fuel source etc are also being produced with cow dung. The basic objective is to provide an additional earning resource to rural women with easily available raw material that is cow dung.
More than 1.1 million stray cattle have been sheltered in different cow shelters and sheds in UP with the Yogi Adityanath government providing financial support for their sustenance.
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While cow dung is being used to produce a variety of consumer products, the state is looking at setting up organic fuel and organic mature plants in big cow shelters for their long term sustainability and viability.