To most people, paint is the colour on the walls of their homes, cars, boats or caravan, made of pigments such as titanium dioxide (white), chrome green oxide, yellow and red iron oxides, and others. But have you ever come across an eco-friendly paint that has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Launching this non-toxic first-of-its-kind product, named as 'Khadi Prakritik Paint', Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said that the main ingredient of the paint is cow dung and the project is intended to boost the rural economy.

"To boost the rural economy and generate an additional income for farmers, we will soon launch 'Vedic Paint' made of cow dung through the Khadi and Village Industries Commission," Gadkari said on Twitter.

Help farmers generate extra income

Vedic paint

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Khadi Prakritik paint is cost-effective and odourless and has been certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

The statement further said that 'Khadi Prakritik Paint' is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.

"The production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of increasing farmers' income. The project was conceptualized by Chairman KVIC in March 2020, and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit)," the ministry said.

cow dung
cow dungWikimedia Commons

This paint is said to be free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others. According to an estimate by the government, the sale of this paint is expected to help farmers in generating an extra income of Rs 30,000 per animal, per year.

"This is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas," the statement said.

Atmanirbhar Bharat

Cow dung is used in cleaning the environment as well as clogging of drains. Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and MSME Pratap Sarangi said that the project will complement the Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Cow dung plaster is believed to be auspicious in rural areas and has the best natural disinfectants with antibacterial properties. Dried cow dung cakes are still used as cooking fuel in villages.

House paint
Majority of the paints available in India contain alarming levels of lead, a new study reveals.UnitedSoybeanBoard/Flickr

New Indian Express cited a paper published by some students of Vellore Institute of Technology which said that cow dung paint can improve air quality and reduce the need for artificial air conditioning as it acts as an insulator and keeps heat out in summers while holding it inside in winters.

The Khadi Prakritik Distemper and Emulsion Paints have been tested at three National Laboratories – National Test House, Mumbai; Shri Ram Institute for Industrial Research, New Delhi; National Test House, Ghaziabad.