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When air pollution is off the charts, Varanasi in UP becomes the first city in India to use cow-dung cakes for cremation purposes instead of wood.
What Is It?
Although, there is some opposition from wood sellers in the city, Varanasi has made a green move by switching to cow-dung cakes for cremation purposes instead of woods. There are around 33,000 deaths in Varanasi each year, with over 16,000 tonnes of wood burned and 800 tonnes of ash produced. With cow-dung cakes, the city has switched to an eco-friendly alternative and this has been done with the help of Nagpur-based NGO Eco-Friendly Living Foundation and Kashi Mokshadayini Seva Samiti.
Vedic scholars were brought on the subject to comment on the ethical attribute of using cow-dung, and even they have given a green signal to the movement. With plenty of ‘gaushalas’ in Varanasi, the city has nearly 4000 cattle that produce cow-dung and the cattle doesn’t undergo any harm if cow-dung is utilized.
Using cow-dung reduces burning time, as well as wood usage (also saves the environment) so this practice is being encouraged in Nagpur and Kolkata too.
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