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Cow dung becomes a means of employment in UP

Besides being used in making dung cakes, fertilizer and bio-gas, cow dung is also generating employment in Uttar Pradesh.

The Yogi Adityanath-government is running a 'Gau Sanrakshan Abhiyan' (Cow protection campaign) in the state, under which 5.21 lakh cows out of around 11.84 lakh stray cows have been given shelter. The government is running a total of 4,500 temporary stray cows shelters.

Some 187 large cow conservation centres have been built in the rural areas. In the urban areas, 400 cow protection centres have been established in the name of Kanha Goshala and Kanha Upavan. Under this scheme, the BioVed Agricultural Technology and Science Research Institute, Shringverpur in Prayagraj district, is imparting training to prepare cow dung products.

Apart from UP, people from other states have got training at the institute to prepare cow dung products. They are also trained in making wood out of dung which is called 'Gokashth'. This especially prepared wood burns longer. Currently, 'Gokashth' is being used in Agra Jail for various purposes on a large scale.

Similarly, in Firozabad's cremation centre — 'Swarg Ashram' — the 'Gokashth' has emerged as a better substitute for wood that costs much more than it. People have also appreciated the use of 'Gokashth' in cremations as it reduces cutting of trees. 'Gokashth' is made of saw dust, waste straw and cow dung.

Ramakant Dubey, a farmer and environmental activist from Kalyani Mohalla of Unnao district, has also taken this initiative. Dubey's plant prepares two quintals of 'Gokashth' everyday. This plant can be established by spending Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

During his visit to Rajasthan, Ramakant saw people using this especially prepared wood. He got inspired and decided to establish a plant in this district. He applied under the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana to install four machines and put his 'Gokashth' plan before the administration which approved it.

Wood smoke emits carbon dioxide gas which is harmful to the environment and humans, while burning cow-wood produces 40 per cent oxygen which will help in environmental protection. Also, using 'Gokashth' in cremations is five times cheaper than conventional ways, which usually consume around four quintals of wood.

The BioVed Research Institute is providing employment and additional income to many families by training them to manufacture a variety of value-added items. Many such items are being made using animal dung, lac in urine. Dung pots, Lakshmi-Ganesh idols, pen-holders, dustbins, mosquito repellent incense sticks, candles are being manufactured..