With an aim of empowering the women folks of the Villages in Uttarakhand, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dehradun, Uttarakhand came-up with a unique idea of utilizing the locally available raw materials to enlighten the Diwali festival. To realize the idea, the KVK carried out experiments for constructing Diyas using Cow Dung along with the herbs with the help of the farm woman - Smt. Sita Bhatt of Charba Village, Vikasnagar Block, Dehradun District.
To prepare these unique Diyas, the Cow Dung is slightly sun-dried bound with a small ratio of fine soil. To add fragrance in Diyas, the Neem, Lantana, Lemon Grass and Tulsi Leaves along with the other locally available leaves were dried, ground finely and added in the mixture. After thoroughly blending the dough to obtain a homogenous mixture, the prepared dough was then shaped into Diyas.
On being dried, the Diyas were painted with all-natural colors like Geru, turning them into a beautiful hue of colors. The turmeric and thin paste of ground rice was also used to design Diyas to make them herbal and eco-friendly. The wax was used in place of oil to make it easier to light-up the Diyas.
Having the uniqueness of being prepared by the Cow Dung & natural herbs spreading good aromatic fragrance, the Herbal Diyas are more preferred upon Clay Diyas. The remains can also be utilized as herbal ash and sprayed on plants to kill the harmful insects. The unburned Diyas thrown in the cultivated fields also act as manures after a few days of decomposition.
The KVK organized a training programme in the last week of July, 2020. Till now, 50 farm women have been trained.
Being trained at KVK, Smt. Bhatt has prepared more than 50,000 Diyas with & without wax and earned more than Rs. 70,000 this season. Inspired by her Diyas, she also got an opportunity to serve her decorative Diyas at Kumbh Mela held in Uttarakhand.
Along with her experience and expertise, Smt. Bhatt has trained more than 100 women and young girls of the different villages including seven Self-Help Groups Members.
Having the health benefits due to the presence of natural ingredients, the Herbal Diyas can be a good idea to enlighten this Diwali.
(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dehradun, Uttarakhand)