Started Making Decorative Material from Cow Dung, Now Earning Lakhs

In January 2021, Vijay got his company registered in the name of Gau Shilp Enterprises, in which he is making plastic goods from cow dung
Started Making Decorative Material from Cow Dung, Now Earning Lakhs
Image Credit: Bhaskar

According to the report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 33 lakh metric tonnes of plastic waste was generated in India in the year 2018-19. This plastic mixes with land and water and creates pollution. Similarly, POP idols of Ganesha and Durga Maa are immersed in ponds and rivers during festivals. These idols made of POP remain in the water for about 17 years and pollute them. Vijay Kumar Patidar of Bhopal has found the best alternative to these things made of plastic and POP.

Father had left the village in search of employment

29-year-old Vijay, originally from Bhopal, belongs to a farmer family. Recalling his childhood, Vijay says – For better employment, my father left the village and came to Bhopal in search of a job. Our financial condition was not good and I did my entire education in a government school. When the situation improved, he did engineering from DAV College, Indore. Passed the GATE exam and then did a master's in engineering from Bhopal itself.

Taught children after engineering

Vijay, who was troubled here and there for studies, now wanted to teach the children himself. He started teaching children living in the nearby township and taught as a professor in the college for employment. Vijay says- After doing a Master's in engineering, he also wanted to do a Ph.D. in this field, but even after many efforts, he did not feel like it, because Vijay was interested in social work. So he started teaching the kids around.

The journey started from here

Image Credit: Bhaskar
Image Credit: Bhaskar

During this, he saw that the cow was roaming on the road. Accidents also happen because of cows roaming on the road, says Vijay. People have made cowsheds for cows. When they are of no use, they are then left to wander here and there. A big reason behind this is their care and the waste that comes out of them i.e. cow dung. We solved this problem and started making products from cow dung.

Started gathering information

When the lockdown came in 2020, Vijay got a lot of time to research it. He met many people working in this field and started doing grassroots research on different topics. During this, he got the support of Arjun and Neeta Deep Vajpayee. Both met Vijay during social work. After getting enough information, he started a pilot project. During this, on Diwali, he started making many types of products from cow dung and soil and supplying them in the local market. However, the trial was successful amidst the restrictions imposed due to the epidemic.

The company formed in 2021

In January 2021, Vijay got his company registered in the name of Gau Shilp Enterprises, in which he is making plastic goods from cow dung. He says that this shield is given to the winner of any sport or competition held in schools. These plastic shields promote pollution. Instead, we have made a shield out of cow dung and soil. We are making 20 different products like Rakhi, Wall Frame, Clock, Photo Frame, Mirror, Throne, Pooja Thali with the help of Cow Dung. They can get rid of plastic as well as POP i.e. calcium sulphate idols.

Highlighting this initiative, Vijay says, Plastics and POPs are very harmful to the earth as they can never decompose. At the same time, cow dung is a very important fertilizer and is also essential for plants. We try to ensure that the durability of our products is at least 10 to 12 years. After this, they can be dissolved in water and used as manure.

How are products made from cow dung?

Image Credit: Bhaskar
Image Credit: Bhaskar

It is difficult to make a direct product from cow dung. First the Upales (Cow Dung Cake are made). These are specially dried in the cool sun. Due to this, they are stronger than the Upales made in any season. After this, they are ground into powder. It is sieved through a fine sieve. taken so that the quality is maintained.

In the next step, this powder is mixed with guar gum. Guar gum is prepared by mixing some medicines including flour, wood, wax. All the things are mixed together and kneaded. This semi-diluted paste is poured into a mold and shaped into idols. The finished idols are dried and prepared from fresh cow dung. The idols become very strong due to guar gum, which does not break even if they fall. They are coated with glue after being rubbed with a razor. At the final stage, they are dyed with herbal color.

Marketing on social media

Vijay started taking the products of cow craft to the people through family and friends. Slowly people came to know about it and today they are sending their products to many states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala. During this, he did marketing through social media platforms and now he is working on his website. They have products ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 2000. Started with an investment of 60 thousand rupees, this startup is doing business of lakhs today.

Employment is given to 55 women

Image Credit: Bhaskar
Image Credit: Bhaskar

According to Vijay, 4 self-help groups are associated with him in the village. With which they are taking different types of materials as well as taking products. Keeping women empowerment in mind, she has given employment to 55 women in her team of 60 people. 45-year-old Hukum Singh, who worked with Vijay, says – In our scriptures and Ayurveda, there is a mention of bathing with things found from the cow. We researched about it and now we are making soap by mixing five things. Multani mitti, cow dung is processed and its powder, camphor, neem oil, and some herbs are mixed. Their paste is poured into a mold and shaped. These soaps are effective in fighting skin-related problems.

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