Seminar to highlight indigenous use of cow dung in rural India

November 30, 2012


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "Waste or Resource? Indigenous Uses of Cow Dung and Urine in Rural India" will be presented by Nripendra Singh at noon Tuesday (Dec. 4), in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. Singh is a Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Program Fellow at Penn State and is currently working on waste management in the School of Hospitality Management. His one-hour seminar will describe the many indigenous uses of cow dung and urine as a resource in rural India.

As Singh notes, the respect and regard paid to cows in India is well known, but the importance to rural Indians of the dung and urine of this sacred animal is often ignored. "Cow dung is used as a cooking fuel, sanitizing cleanser, construction material, for insulating and waterproofing walls and floors in rural houses, as a cultural symbol in religious worship and the raw material for producing organic compost and generating electricity.


"The urine of cows is considered an elixir of life and is used as a natural remedy for liver and heart conditions as well as for enhancing mental and physical strength and increasing longevity. The urine is said to balance bile, mucous and airs, which cause disease when they are not in balance. The utilization of cow dung and urine is a perfect example of sustainable living."

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge, the University Office of Global Programs and the Social Sciences Library. For more information, see or call 814-863-1347.



  • A woman molding cow dung into building material.

    IMAGE: Submitted photo
Last Updated January 09, 2015