Khadi India under Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Government of India, is soon launching Vedic Paint made out of cow dung. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Government of India, informed about the upcoming product on his Twitter account. He said,”We are soon going to launch a ‘Vedic Paint’ made of cow dung through the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. It will help in strengthening Village economy and provide additional income to the farmers.”
डिस्टेंपर और इमल्शन में आने वाला यह पेंट इको फ्रेंडली, नॅान टौक्सिक, एंटी बैक्टीरियल, एंटी फंगल और वॅाशेबल होगा और केवल चार घंटे में सुखेगा। इससे पशुधन रखने वाले किसानों को साल में 55 हजार रूपए की अतिरिक्त आमदनी होगी।— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) December 17, 2020
Gadkari further added that the eco-friendly, non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and washable paint would be available in distemper and emulsion. It will dry in just four hours. This venture will provide an additional income of up to Rs.55,000 to the livestock farmers.
Cow dung paint has a fascinating history
Though it may sound weird to some, the experts at Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute have been developing such paint for years. In August 2019, Giriraj Singh, Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, had informed in a Facebook post that the institute had developed cow dung paint and manufactured it across India. Singh further added that cow dung would be bought at Rs.5 per KG from the livestock farmers for the venture.
A report published in Himachal Abhi Abhi said that the paint will look like the regular paint, and it will cost as low as half of the standard colour while regular paint costs around. Rs.225/lt, cow dung paint will be available at around Rs.110/lt. In October 2020, Hindi Daily Patrika published a report about Organic Cow Dung Paint. In the report, it was mentioned that the Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute is developing the paint. This paint can be used on walls, wood and metal.
As per the Patrika report, the paint is consistent with national and international standards. The institute has tested on all aspects, including thickness, smoothness and brushing. It has been reviewed by national and international level government and private labs. It will be available in 2lt to 30lt packing. While talking about the production from raw material, it mentioned that by using 100 KG of cow dung, 30-40 KG paint could be manufactured. That means, if a production unit consumed 500 KG of cow dung daily, it could produce up to 200 KG of paint.
Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute is already manufacturing several products using cow dung, including handmade paper, hawan samagri, gift items, carry bags, diyas and more.
Research on cow dung paint was done in VIT
In 2016, five students of Vellore Institute of Technology under supervision of Mrs. Ghamande Manasi, Assistant Professor in Chemistry, published a paper [PDF] on Manufacturing of Cow Dung Paint. The paper pointed out that cow dung plasters are commonly found in many Indian homes in rural areas. It is hailed for its anti-bacterial properties and is believed to be one of the best natural disinfectants. It is not uncommon in any typical Indian Village home to find the entire floor covered with cow dung paste. Cow dung is often mixed with lime to coat the walls of the kuchcha houses.
Benefits of using cow dung in paints
It can improve air quality. It is antiseptic in the nation. Cow dung reduces the need for air conditioning as it acts as an insulator and keeps heat out in summers while holding it inside in winters. Dried cow dung is odourless. The paper further suggested that the paint manufactured using cow dung can be used in pipelines to save water from getting evaporated.
Puttur Doctor paints his house with cow dung
In January 2019, a report was published in Bangalore Mirror that talked about a doctor from Puttur who painted his house with cow dung. Shashishekar Bhat has been experimenting with a paint derived from the dung of indigenous cows and was happy about it. He told BM that traditionally a mix of water and cow dung is applied on the ground in front of the houses as it is believed to be insect repellant. In cold places, it is used to cover walls as it can act as a thermal insulator.
“The work related to our house extension was almost complete and we had also invested more than Rs 1 lakh on the purchase of regular paints and the painting work was in progress. Then an idea struck. Why not use paint derived from cow dung? I hesitated to tell my family, fearing opposition. We all love desi cows and have about 22 of them. After thinking about it for a while, I put this idea before my family and was surprised that nobody opposed it, but all seemed excited about the idea. I told them that I would like my bedroom painted with paint from cow dung – which I have called go-rang,” he said.
Bhat started it as an experiment in one room and later extended it to three rooms in his house. While Khadi India is manufacturing regular-paint-like products, Bhat’s homemade innovative paint is his ‘Do It Yourself’ project that he has been working on.