A couple of Murudi village in Yelburga taluk of Koppal district is into making ‘Hanate’ (traditional lamp) and ‘Dhoopa’ (vapour) using cow dung. And their wares have caught the eye of many people who think twice before buying Chinese products, thanks to anti-China sentiments.
Ashwini and Shrinivas Divakar, who currently live in the neighbouring city Hosapete, have been making traditional lamps and vapours for a year now.
“The idea struck after we observed cow dung lying waste here and there. As the voice against Chinese products grew louder, we started making vapours. My entrepreneur-husband Shrinivas assured me of getting cow dung and offered other logistical support. He prepared moulds measuring 2 inches (length) and 0.5 inches (diameter) using PVC pipes. I have earned more than Rs 15,000 while being a homemaker,” Ashwini said, adding they also pay the farmers who supply them cow dung.
“We use cow ghee, desi camphor, turmeric powder, clove powder, guggul in vapour so that it can spread fragrance when it is lit. The smoke of vapour has anti-virus and anti-bacterial properties. The vapours, being free of chemicals, are eco-friendly too.” Shrinivas credited his cousin Raghuveer Desai, a software engineer in Bengaluru, for the green initiative.
“We started making traditional lamps using moulds. Glad to say that no machinery is involved in this. We just bring cow dung and filter it and mix it with non-chemical powder involving powder of tamarind, Multani mitti and cluster beans so that lamps get rigidity to avoid breakage. We sun-dry the mixture before putting it in moulds. We also make paintings of various symbols – Shree, Om and Swastik — using watercolours,” he explained.
Dr P R Badariprasad, the entomology scientist at Agricultural Extension Education Centre (Koppal), said that the initiative has a larger interest with reference to the environment, promotes animal husbandry among farmers and also supports the rural economy.