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Bizarre or Eco-Friendly: Indians Create 'Corona Rakhis' Made of Cow Dung Cakes for Sibling Festival

© AP Photo / Mahesh Kumar AA woman shops for 'rakhi', or a sacred thread, ahead of 'Raksha Bandhan' festival in Hyderabad, India, Friday, July 31, 2020.
A woman shops for 'rakhi', or a sacred thread, ahead of 'Raksha Bandhan' festival in Hyderabad, India, Friday, July 31, 2020. - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): Despite COVID-19 concerns, Indian markets saw an increased footfall ahead of the sibling festival of Rakshabandhan. Sisters buy sacred threads, “Rakhi”, from markets on the occasion to tie it around their brothers' wrists on this highly anticipated annual day of family festivity.

As Indians have faced the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months and the public is greatly concerned about the contagious disease, many shopkeepers have tried to fascinate customers with Rakhis made out of dung cakes on the occasion of the sibling festival known as Rakshabandhan.

These Rakhis, or decorative sacred threads, are being sold as eco-friendly products this time due to being made out of dried dung cakes that are also generally used during Hindu religious rituals to please God, besides being used as cooking fuel in villages.

Being one of the biggest festivals in India, the sibling festival of Rakshabandhan sees sisters and brothers celebrating the bond of love, affection, and sense of care for each other in life. Brothers assure sisters that they will always protect them in difficult times. 

Many shopkeepers have named these Rakhis made from dung cake as “Corona Rakhi”, as people would like to celebrate the festival during the pandemic with extra care. In India, cow dung is considered to be high in organic materials and rich in nutrients. 

According to many shop owners in India, the sale of Rakhis took a hit this time due to the COVID-19 situation. Therefore, some manufacturers have come up with innovative ways such as Rakhis made using dung cakes to get their businesses going with available resources.

Speaking to media, Akash, a shop owner in India's Telangana state, said: “Sales this year is low because of the pandemic, thus I tried to come up with something that might induce people to buy my Rakhis. This year I am selling a ‘Corona Rakhi’ made of cow dung. A few people have bought it and they seem to like it”.

Meanwhile, women from self-help groups in India's Chhattisgarh state have prepared Rakhi from cow dung and bamboo for different places in the state. 

According to people from the self-help groups, Rakhis were being prepared in the multi-utility centre of the village to be tied on the wrist of the corona warriors who are fighting against the coronavirus.

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