By : Mr. Pramod Chug, Mamtesh Sharma and Vikas Singh Baghel

‘Go-Kashth Bhopal’ Model (Cow dung wood / logs)

(For Self dependence of Go-Shala & to reduce use of Wood in Crematoriums and Holika Dahan to prevent Deforestation)

Cremation, the practice of reducing a corpse to its essential elements is an inextricable part of Indian culture especially in
Hinduism. Every year more than seven million Hindus die that took around 60 million trees during cremation every year
Another current major issue India for which every state government is showing concern is the effective management cow dung and improving the condition of cow sheds. The total population of female cows in India is 190.90 million generates 9–15 kg dung/day/ cattle (Livestock Census 2012).

Introduction of cow dung wood/ logs termed as ‘Go-Kashth’ has emerged as an effective solution to all these issues by Dr.
Yogendra Kumar Saxena, Scientist. ‘Go-Kashth’ the long dried cow dung logs can be prepared by a simple machine with minimum human intervention. The concept of using cow dung wood, GoKashth as an alternative of wood in Indian crematoriums was developed in July, 2018 where a ‘Go-Kashth’ making machine was installed at Ramkali Go-Shala, Halai Dam, Bhopal (MP) by personal contribution.

A proper system was developed where dried ‘Go-Kashth’ was collected and transported to a crematorium of use. Later, for making the system effective and to ensure the timely availability of ‘Go-Kashth’ at crematorium, small sized cow sheds having less numbers of cows also get involved in the system. Cow dung produced there is collected and buys by interested people having their own ‘Go-Kashth’ making machine for the production.


‘Go – Kastha’ Campaigning


‘Go – Kastha’ in Holika Dahan


Dr. Yogendra Saxena explaining about ‘Go – Kastha

This Bhopal model has proved a boon to the ‘Go-Shala’ in the city to generate money from cow dung. Since, the ‘GoKashth’ Bhopal Model initiated by Dr. Yogendra Kumar Saxena in July, 2018 till date more than 24000 cremations had been done in the city by cow dung wood. The three major cremation grounds in the city that include Bhadbhada, Chhola and Shubhash Crematoriums have now become almost 90-95% percent free from use of wood had saved approx. 96000 quintals of wood.

Use of cow dung wood in cremation has many advantages over the use of fire wood. Initially, when wood was used it took around 400-600 kg of wood  but only 250-300 kg of ‘Go-Kashth’ is required for a body. The time it takes to completely cremate the body with wood extends from 8 to 10 hours, but with ‘goKashth’ it takes only around 5-6 hours.

Also, to ignite the fire in wood it requires use of other additives like ghee, oil, cow dung cakes and laar, but ‘Go-Kashth’ is
having an air cavity in the center which adds to proper flow of air and thus, it is found easy to ignite the fire. As the nature
of wood is dense in between the process of cremation workers need to make use of bamboo to reach the fire to all areas and
cremate the body to all parts efficiently, but such no additional efforts of are needed with ‘Go-Kashth’. If we compare economically, cremation of a body with wood costs around 5000-6000 rupees while the use of ‘Go-Kashth’ in cremation
costs around 4000-5000 rupees.

Also, cow sheds are generating revenues and becoming self sufficient. For the two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020,
Bhopal city has witnessed the success of using ‘Go-Kashth’ in Holika bonfire and cuts off around 70-80 % use of wooden
during this festival. More than 15 ‘GoKashth’ making machines have already being installed in different cow sheds in
the city.


‘Go – Kastha’ samiti board members…

A mass awareness campaign was run by Dr. Yogendra Kumar Saxena to promote the ‘Go-Kashth’ Bhopal model in
the city and also to other cities; to prevent cutting of trees for their use in cremation, to ensure 90-100 percent use of
‘Go-Kashth’ in all the crematoriums of the Bhopal city, to make people aware about its use; and to make evolve the
model in a more effective way Bhopal city has also came up with a committee (Arun Chaudhary (President), Pramod
Chug, Mamatesh Sharma, Ajay Dube, Hemant Ajmera, Prahlad Das Mangal, Om Prakash Singhal, Satyanarayan Bangar, Sanjay Thakur, Dr. Ranu Chouksey Verma) including persons from crematorium management, cow-shed management, mass media and environmentalist and named as “Go-Kashth Samvardhan v Paryavaran Sanrakshan Samiti” to Promote that in many cities like Indore, Dewas, Sagar, Delhi etc. This helped it to make a mass movement and now people
themselves demand for cow dung wood.


Benefits of using ‘Go-Kashth’ (Cow dung wood/ logs) in place of firewood:

MP Tourism is also using the Social Media to reach out the young and now a very informed generation. Now, the feedback is instant and we are extremely serious about the sentiment analysis of our stakeholders. This analysis also helps us in re-targeting and also optimizing our content on various social media platforms. Now, the content is more evolved and specific and as they say “specific is always terrific!”. Perhaps, that is the reason that we have been able to successfully launch our various initiatives and receive such tremendous response from our stakeholders.

  1. Prevents unnecessary cutting of trees and deforestation, thus saves forest cover. Till date around 96000 quintal
    wood has been saved in Bhopal in cremation and around 48000 quintal was saved in Holika dahan.
  2. Reduces the cost of cremation as being less dense it is required in small quantity during cremation.
  3. It saves time of cremation also, as takes only 5-6 hours as compared 8-10 hours of wood cremation.
  4. Small cow sheds are blooming and generating revenues to stand on their own legs and now, becoming selfsufficient. A large Ramkali Go-shala, Bhopal has earned around 25 Lakhs till date from ‘Go-Kashth’, while small cow shed are earning around 5 Lakhs per year
  5. Also, after introduction of the ‘GoKashth’ Bhopal model managing cow dung has become very easy for cow
  6. As no cow dung is now being discharged in drains and nearby water bodies, disposed of on open lands, it is effectively contributing to control air, water and land pollution.
  7. Stray cows which were earlier observed roaming on streets and become victims of accidents. Now, because of the benefits of cow dung they are treated in good way.
  8. It has also contributing to provide daily wages to 3 to 4 local people at one machine to earn for their families.
  9. Use of ‘Go-Kashth’ as alternate fuel in cremation has easily accepted by people due to their sentiments and religious values of cow and cow dung.



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