ISP Raipur Bureau
The humble cow has been a revered and highly appreciated animal in Indian tradition. It has found place in religious texts and even in sacred ceremonies. Historically, the viability of breeding a cow has been a factor of the milk it fetched for the farmer. Beyond the milk, the urban millenia has failed to utilise the gifts of cow unlike the village folks who use the cowdung for all kinds of household things including that of plastering the walls of the house.
Ritesh Agarwal, a youngster from Chattisgarh is showing the way for many by installing a profitable business model around the byproducts of cows. His successful experiment with cow products is not only employing many, it has paved the way for many others to do the same way and attempt entrepreneurship around cowdung products.
His always had several cows to rear in the family but after his graduation he chose to go for a job like other youngsters. Few years into the job Ritesh found it monotonous and felt disinterested to continue with the corporate job. He was looking for ways to come back to his native place in Raipur and stay with the family. While searching for ways to beneficially engage himself with family in the village, Ritesh pursued his research for developing beautiful and functional products made of cowdung.
Bags, sandals, purses, lamps, statues and many other such novelty products made of cowdung are now becoming daily use items for many people in India due to the venture initiated by Ritesh and his team. Talking to the media, Ritesh has also revealed in an interview that he earns around 36 lakhs from his cow dung products. His experiments of developing aesthetic products has not just helped people who use it, it has given considerable revenue to the cow-rearing rural Indians.
Farmers had limited options to monetise the byproducts from rearing cows and most of the cowdung was used for energy supply to the kitchen. It was mostly dried as small round cakes and preserved the whole year for the farmer family to use.
The world woke up to the products prepared by Ritesh’s company when Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupendra Bhagel carried his budget documents in a briefcase made of cowdung which was gifted to the CM by Ritesh.
Apart from continuously experimenting with newer designs of his products and creating job opportunities for youngsters, Ritesh is now also engaged in educating masses on the benefits of using organic products made of cowdung and to prove that it has healing effects on our body. He talks to school children and youths in seminars. He is confident that the coming generation will wake to the harms of plastic and other synthetic products and promote natural products for daily use.