Ahead of the festive season of Diwali, the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog is set to produce 33 crore earthen lamps (Diyas) made from cow dung in order to counter the Chinese products and also boost the 'Make in India' initiative. More than 15 states have agreed to be part of the campaign, Chairman of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog Vallabhbhai Kathiria said in a press conference.
The Aayog was set up in 2019 to promote and conserve indigenous cattle population in the country, however, it has now started a nation-wide campaign to encourage the use of cow dung-based products in the upcoming festival.
"The manufacturing has started. We are targeting 33 crore Diyas before Diwali," he said.
Kathiria opined that the trend of endorsing imported products needs a reversal and the perception about cow and cow-based agriculture and cow-based industry need to be corrected immediately for social and economic rejuvenation of society particularly poor in rural areas.
Apart from the eco-friendly Diyas, the Aayog is also promoting the production of other products made from dung, urine and milk such as anti-radiation chip, paperweights, Ganesha and Lakshmi idols, incense sticks, candles among others.
He said that his organisation is conducting a series of webinars with stakeholders like farmers, cow shelter operators, entrepreneurs to be part of this campaign.
This campaign will help the cow shelters (Gaushalas) become self-reliant and financially capable while creating jobs in rural areas of the country. India produces about 192 crore kilo of cow dung per day and Karhiria contended that there is a huge untapped potential in cow dung-based products.
There is a growing anti-China sentiment in the country in the backdrop of the border skirmishes and provocations by the Chinese Army. People across the country were seen boycotting Chinese products after the violent face-off between Indian Army and the Chinese Army in eastern Ladakh's Galwan valley which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army soldiers including a commanding rank officer. While the Chinese have confirmed that their men were killed too, they have not released the number of casualties.
China once again made a provocative move of unilaterally changing the status quo along the LAC in the southern banks of Pangong Tso lake in August end which was preempted and thwarted by Indian Army and much the Chinese Army's shock, the Indian Army captured dominating heights in the areas.
In the aftermath of the Chinese provocations, several projects under various state governments and the Central government having Chinese partners were put to halt and Chinese contracts were terminated. While China raised objection and even termed that India is violating international trade norms, India has maintained that the move is to ensure safety. India has also banned 218 Chinese apps in total in three phases citing national security concerns.
(With inputs and image from PTI)