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Raksha Bandhan is around the corner and the craze for the festival can be seen across shops and markets where girls are busy buying the holy thread for their brothers from shopkeepers with a great collection of designer and metallic rakhis.
But the trend nowadays is a 'cow dung rakhi'. Recently, this new kind of rakhi has won the battle due to their huge demand and an environmentally friendly approach.
We are talking about 'Shri Krishna Gaushala' cow shelter in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh who are making rakhis out of cow dung. Isn't that unimaginable?
The cow shelter heading this initiative is run by Alka Lahoti, an NRI who left her job in Indonesia and returned to India to help her father with the shelter.
How Did It Start?
"I am associated with Juna Akhara and went to the Kumbh Mela this year where I displayed my rakhis. Our product was appreciated and the saints there asked me to make such type of rakhis for the public. Then I contacted other manufacturing experts and discussed the matter with them. So far, I have received orders from Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, and Uttarakhand. I have prepared thousands of rakhis for the upcoming festival", said Alka.
About the manufacturing of rakhis, Alka said that first, they prepare a template of many shapes and sizes, pour the cow dung into those and then store them in a dark and cool place. After they dry, eco-friendly colours and threads are used to decorate the cow dung rakhis beautifully. She said, " We use threads instead of plastic ones. Contrary to the Chinese rakhis, our rakhis are eco-friendly. They can be decomposed and turned into manure after their use."
Problems Faced By Shri Krishna Gaushala
Alka said to the media that it was not easy for them to achieve the final product as the rakhis made out with cow dung got damaged easily. However, she continued the experiment along with other experts and finally made rakhis that were strong and hard. They achieved it by storing them in a cool place.
These rakhis are available in the market at a reasonable price. On this regard, Alka said that if they remain unsold, she will distribute them for free to promote this eco-friendly rakhi.
Shri Krishna Gaushala's Contribution Towards the Environment
This unique idea has become viral as it involves replacing plastics with cow dung and took one step ahead towards saving the environment. Apart from this, the gaushala manufactures multiple cow dung products - cow dung slabs for cremation, flower pots, disinfectant, and sells gomutra (cow urine which is regarded as a medicine).