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Cow are held sacred and are worshipped in Hinduism

Traditionally in Indian villages, the walls and the floor of houses are coated with cow dung paste, and it has been practised since Ancient India was established. No matter how bizarre and disgusting it may sound cow-dung is very useful in the rural context and has a history behind it. Cow are held sacred and are worshipped in Hinduism and are referred to as "Gow Maata" meaning cow our mother.

Cow dung paste is applied to the walls of houses in Indian villages in the process of cleaning, similar to how people in cities get their houses painted renewed and painted. Faeces are usually not the best topics for conversations and are usually avoided, but cow dung is a useful waste material that has the potential to become a plentiful and renewable resource which makes it worth discussing.

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The benefits of plastering houses with cow-dung

  • It helps in controlling the temperature within houses

India has a tropical climate which means it gets quite hot in summers and mildly chilly in winters. The marble houses in urban areas get hot in summers and chilly in winters so much that it gets difficult to step barefoot on the floor. On the other hand, when cow dung dries it becomes as solid as cement. It balances the temperature within the house, during winters and summers. Being a poor conductor of moisture, it maintains the warmness inside the wall in winters and keeps cool inside houses in summers.

  • Anti-Bacterial

Cow Dung is considered good for health. It has been proven through researches that cow dung possesses a high level of minerals and anti-bacterial properties. Thus, it protects people from various diseases and health issues.

  • Repels insects and mosquitoes

During the summer seasons, there is a gradual increase in the number of bugs and insects. Small insects like centipedes, scorpions, etc. do not go near places covered with the paste of Cow-dung. It also acts as a natural repellent for mosquitoes. Making the house secure from mosquitoes and insects.

  • Building Material

It has been established that paste of cow dung and mud has been applied on the floors and walls of houses for decades now. This mixture reportedly forms a waterproof layer that acts as a natural insulator for the house protecting it from heat gain or loss. With the help of modern techniques, it can be actively used as a building material.

Women coating houses with mud and cow dung Cow dung paste is applied to the walls of houses in Indian villages in the process of cleaningWikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Scientists develop eco-friendly material, a possible substitute for plastics

Cow-dung is not only utilized for coating the walls and floors in India it is also extensively as fuel for cooking in many parts of India and as the raw material for biogas plants. In India approximately, 3 million tonnes of dung is released each day, most of which goes to waste, without being utilized properly. If the useful and abundantly available material is mindfully utilized it can be used to plaster houses to make them fire-resistant and heat resistant and eco-friendly. At the same time, it will become a source of income for the people who nurture cows at the rural level.

Keywords: Cows, rural India, tradition, benefits of cow dung, eco-friendly, sacred, environmental


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