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Cow dung products need support from Government

Wednesday, 07 July 2021 | Purnima Bisht | Dehradun

Though cow dung is preferred for various religious items and rituals, the products prepared from it are not getting a good response from the local residents even though these very products had elicited popular response when exhibited and sold at an exhibition held in Dehradun last year. Tripti Thapa, who runs a self help group called Swadesh Kutumb Swayam Sahayta Samuh, prepares a wide variety of products using cow dung and urine. According to her, there are 10 women in the group who make about 20 types of products using cow dung and urine along with used dried flowers from temples. Thapa said that her group makes various products like small and big idols of various gods, earthen lamps and different types of incense sticks, stands for small idols and incense sticks and different kinds of cow dung cakes. They even prepare manure for plants. According to Thapa, they use various kinds of herbs and other ingredients to make various cow dung products. “We make cow dung cakes in various shapes like rectangular, triangular, circular and cylindrical in various sizes with various ingredients. For instance, we prepare cow dung cakes using certain herbs like Neem that help in air purification while some are made to create a positive aura at homes. We also use Gangajal and Gaumutra along with dried flowers and other holy ingredients in the cow dung cakes which are meant for religious purposes like Hawan,” said Thapa.

However, she stated that her small venture of using cow dung to make products is not doing well. According to her, the group gets accolades for their products from many local personalities and government officials but nobody has actually provided them with an opportunity to market and sell their products.

“We received the first prize in the exhibition of Self Help Groups organised in the premises of Municipal Corporation of Dehradun (MCD) last year. We got a good response from some locals and were even praised by the then chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat for our eco-friendly products. However, we were not supported by the government,” stated Thapa. She said that it is not easy to market or sell these products without any support from the authorities. According to Thapa, her group even tried to approach some big local temples to allow them to sell their products made from cow dung near the temples but they could not get permission. “If products made from cow dung will be used in temples, it will be more sacred as these products do not harm the environment. Incense sticks prepared from cow dung burn completely and old earthen lamps can be crushed easily and used as manure in plants,” said Thapa. She said that she is aware that the products prepared from cow dung have a bright future in Uttarakhand but they want the government to support them in order to make people aware of such products. “We do not have big investment to market our products. Our situation has gotten worse during the Covid-19 pandemic. All we want is the government’s help in making these products reachable to people so that others can be motivated to use these products or even start their own business,” stated Thapa.

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