INDORE: Demand for local products of Indore is on the rise in the market. A group’s initiative to use cow-dung to prepare Diwali products is slowly turning into a major business endeavour. The demand for these products is not confined to Indore but to other cities and states like Nagpur, Gujarat, Delhi, Bhopal and even nearby Mhow and it is competing with Chinese products.
Lok Sanskriti Manch’s Ekta Mehta wanted to do something for poor families. During a discussion with local MP Shankar Lalwani, an idea of making Diwali products with cow-dung cropped up.
The idea soon turned into a reality and became a source of income for about 25 families. Mouth-publicity made the products popular not only in Indore but also in other cities. Soon a few others joined the endeavour by organising virtual fairs and even providing online platform to the products. The response was overwhelming, said Ekta.
“We are currently focusing on handicraft Diwali items,” she said. The women associated with the Manch are making lamps (diyas), God’s idols, dry-fruit boxes, bandharwaar (hung at door) and other items made with cow-dung.
All these products are natural and completely recyclable and after use they can be turned into manure too.
Her initiative is the first in Madhya Pradesh which was started under the “Vocal for Local” scheme.
Ekta said that the price of products starts from Rs 3 to Rs 100. As many as 25,000 cow-dung lamps have been sold in other states and cities of Madhya Pradesh, while over 10,000 cow-dung lamps were sold in Indore itself.
Kamal Goswami from Mhow, a major buyer of cow dung lamps, said that he has bought 6,000 lamps and will distribute them among his friends, relatives and neighbours to promote the “Vocal for Local”. He said that nothing can be better than cow dung, both in terms of religion and biology.
Business goes online
Darshana Topiwala, one of the clients of Ekta, has taken the business to another level by introducing it online. Darshana promoted and shared the products online and also made them available on a few e-commerce websites. They received a great response from it.
Mahesh Joshi, another bulk buyer of the lamps, said that he will distribute as many as 1000 lamps to promote local products in the city as well as outside the city.
Jigyasa Parikh, who has purchased cow dung lamps said that usually every Diwali they use lamps made of clay and mud but now the lamps made of cow dung will be a cherry on our cake.