Kailash Mahakur, 35, from Odisha’s Charpali village in Dhankauda block, has come up with cow dung diyas in an attempt to promote eco-friendly traditional lamps this Diwali.
Kailash has further engaged as many as 15 people who were struggling to sustain during the pandemic to help him make and market these diyas. Kailash’s unique initiative is inspiring people to adopt cow dung instead of earthen soil or clay to make diyas.
Kailash owns a dairy farm and has been rearing eight cows in his shed. Ahead of Diwali, he decided to use the cow dung in a sustainable manner.
The 35-year-old learnt the process of making these diyas from a video he came across on social media. To make these diyas, the raw material needed includes cow dung powder and a premix powder which acts as a binding agent. It also comprises tamarind seed and cluster bean seed powder besides ‘multani mitti’.
As several people in his village were struggling to earn a living amid the pandemic, Kailash decided to engage them in making the diyas.
Kailash currently has 13 people working with him. “Each of them earns around Rs 200 by working for 5 to 6 hours daily. On an average more than 5,000 diyas are made everyday. I sell these diyas at a nominal Rs 30 for 30 pieces. Usually diyas made of clay are hard to dispose of. However, the cow dung diyas burn into ashes once they run out of oil,” The New Indian Express quoted Kailash as saying.
“Majority of the cattle farmers rear hybrid jersey cattle for the purpose of getting milk. However, they are unaware of the utilities they can derive from indigenous breeds of cow. Cow dung and urine of the indigenous breed can be used in various ways which I have been experimenting for the last several years,” he said, on how he thought of using cow dung.
Kailash is currently supplying diyas to Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda and Deogarh district, and is also getting enquiry orders from other places. He plans to supply his diyas to various temples in the region after Diwali.
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