cow dung
cow dungWikimedia Commons

Raksha Bandhan is just around the corner and many are preparing for the occasion by buying rakhis. In a bid to become more eco-friendly, Shree Krishna Gaushala in Bijnore, Uttar Pradesh, has also started selling cow dung rakhis. The idea was first implemented by Alkha Lahoti, an NRI who runs the gaushala established in 1953.

Lahoti had left her job in Indonesia and moved to India to run the cow shelter with her father. Initially, the cow dung on the rakhis used to crumble easily. However, now they are stronger and harder. Lahoti revealed that the secret is to store them in a cool and dark place.

Explaining why she began making cow dung rakhis, Lahoti told The Times of India, "I am associated with Juna Akhara and had gone to Kumbh event this year and displayed my rakhis. There, our product was well received. The saints there asked me to make such type of rakhis for the public. Then, I contacted other experts and discussed the matter with them. So far, I have received orders from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Orissa. I have prepared thousands of rakhis for the upcoming festival."

Lahoti said that the cow dung is first placed in prepared templates and after they harden, they are painted on and attached to threads instead of ribbons.

"Contrary to the Chinese rakhis, our rakhis are eco-friendly. They can be decomposed and turned into manure after their use," Lahoti boasted. The rakhis are available at nominal rates and if they don't sell well, Lahoti will distribute them for free on Raksha Bandhan.