This Raksha Bandhan, show your love for your brother with eco-friendly rakhis
This Raksha Bandhan, tell your brother how special he is with cow dung. Wait, here us out.
Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu festival that celebrates the brother-sister relationship, is a good time for you to go green with eco-friendly rakhi.
And a cow shelter in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh will help you do just that. Called Shri Krishna Gaushala, the shelter is making rakhi out of cow dung. The initiative is spearheaded by 52-year-old Alkha Lahoti, an NRI who had quit her job in Indonesia and moved to India to help her father run the cowshed.
Speaking to NDTV on the process of making eco-friendly rakhi, Alkha said,
“First, we prepare a template of different shapes and sizes, and then we put the raw cow dung into these templates and store it in a cool and dark place. Once it becomes dry, we then decorate it with eco-friendly colours and use threads instead of plastic ones. Contrary to the rakhi procured from China, our rakhi are eco-friendly. They can be decomposed and turned into manure after use.”
The cowshed, which houses over 117 cows, is already making a few products out of cow dung — slabs used for cremation and flower pots, as well as disinfectant made from cow urine, reports India Today.
It wasn’t an easy job making rakhi out of cow dung, Alkha noted, as the rakhi would not last long. But with continuous experiments and through trial and error, the father-daughter duo was able to make a strong rakhi.
“We were able to achieve consistency by storing the rakhi in a dark and cool place, outside the reach of sunlight.”
At present, the rakhis are being sold at a nominal price, and if some rakhi are remained unsold, it will be distributed for free.
There are many other initiatives embracing eco-friendly measures for popular holidays and festivals. Take, for example, Bengaluru-based Seed Paper India, which is making eco-friendly flags for this Independence Day. The flags are made using 100 percent handmade paper that is embedded with tulsi seeds. Post-ceremony, one can planted the flag on the ground and watch a tulsi plant take root.