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Diyas Made Using Cow Dung Add Sparkle At Deepotsav In Ayodhya

The number 1.25 lakh is considered to be auspicious and lucky, so it was decided to make lamps using cow's dung. The cow dung is also considered to be auspicious, and it is still used to make (idols of) Gauri and Ganesh.

Deepotsav celebrations in Ayodhya
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Sitting in front of the television at his Muzaffarnagar home, Sandeep Arya watched with moist eyes as more than 15 lakh 'diyas' were lit to mark the Deepotsav in Ayodhya, some 770 kilometres away, on Sunday.

Arya couldnt help but feel emotional as over a lakh of these were made using cow dung by more than 300 women associated with the 'gaushala' (cow shelter) run by him. The diyas were given to the Ayodhya administration and were lit on Deepotsav.

This was the sixth edition of Deepotsav, organised every year by the Yogi Adityanath government a day before Diwali. Around 15.76 lakh diyas were lit on the banks of the Saryu during the celebrations, a Guinness World Record. "I am feeling emotional. I have no words to express myself and my feelings," he told PTI on phone. 

"More than 1 lakh lamps were made by 326 women, and it took them around 10 months to make them. Multani mitti was also added to the cow dung while making the lamps, so that the flame glows," he said. Arya said there are around 150 cows in his 'gaushala', which is operating since 2018. 

"I also took cow dung from my farmer friends to make the lamps. And, I feel that the cow is not a problem, it is indeed a solution," he said. Arya said apart from making lamps, his team also makes items which are used in 'havan' and idols of Gods and Goddesses. Apart from Arya's 'gaushala', others from across the state also contributed diyas for the deepotsav.  

Yatindra Trivedi, the manager of Lucknow-based Kanha Upvan said 50,000 diyas made using cow dung were sent by him, and it took six days for a staff of 250 to make them. He added that Kanha Upvan was started in 2010, and is under the Lucknow Municipal Corporation.

Prashant Arya, who runs the Fatehpur-based Kanha gaushala, said 25,000 'gaudeep' were given by them and it took four women and two men four to five days to make the diyas. The 'gaushala' has been operating since two to two-and-half years.  

Speaking about the lamps, Special Secretary, Animal Husbandry department, Devendra Pandey said, "The department took the initiative this time. In order to associate ourselves with Ayodhya's Deepotsav, it was decided that the department will give 1.25 lakh lamps made using cow dung." He added of the 6,300 shelter homes for stray cattle (in UP), as many as 550 of them are registered.

Pandey said, "The number 1.25 lakh is considered to be auspicious and lucky, so it was decided to make lamps using cow's dung. The cow dung is also considered to be auspicious, and it is still used to make (idols of) Gauri and Ganesh."  "Lighting a lamp made using cow dung on Deepawali is also an important social partnership in terms of giving boost to various cow-based items," he said.

Many others also elaborated on the process of making diyas. Hailing the move of the Animal Husbandry department, a Lucknow-based astrologer Triloki Nath Singh said cow dung is considered to be auspicious, and is used in a number of religious events. When the diyas using cow dung are made and included in the Deepotsav, it only adds value to the event, he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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