Uma’s foray into the world of eco-friendly diyas and incense sticks stemmed from her visits to temples. Observing the amount of floral wastes generated from the holy shrines, she wished to put them to good use. Taking cow dung, temple florals, and other natural materials, she launched a line of sustainable festive products under Jayanthi Agro. As Diwali is around the corner, she’s prepping up to bring in the festive fervour with her pancha gavya diyas, cow dung diyas, and incense sticks. Shedding light on her passion project, Uma Bala Malladi from Vizag shares her tryst in the fragrant world.
Taking Yo! Vizag through her journey, the entrepreneur says, “Earlier in February 2021, I began experimenting with the ingredients to make the right mix. I circulated my samples among our close circles. Taking their feedback, I made a series of permutations and combinations to finally come up with my products.”
Noting that her attempt is to revive the traditional products used in ancient times, she adds that on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi they were able to launch Ganesh idols made out of cow dung and temple florals. Apart from the idols, her gobar (cow dung) diyas and frankincense of different fragrances have also gained popularity.
Sharing her process of securing raw materials, Mrs Malladi notes that she collects used garlands, flowers, hawan (homa) samagri (materials) from the temples. To ensure the quality of cow dung, she visits Goshalas (place where cows are kept) and picks gobar generated from indigenous cows only. “This is my way of creating awareness regarding the significance of local breeds and saving them becoming meat at slaughter houses,” the Vizag woman adds.
Stepping ahead, she has recently introduced Pancha gavya diyas. These products are made out of five ingredients – Gomaya (cow dung), Goarc (cow urine), cow milk, cow curd, and cow ghee of desi (indigenous) cows. Accentuating the sacredness, Havan (homa) samagri is also added to the mix. Based on the public response, Mrs Malladi is planning to make these Pancha gavya diyas available throughout the year.
As of now, this Vizag entrepreneur is catering to customers with bulk orders. “I’m excited about the fact that my gobar diyas became a part of the diwali hampers of the Craft Council of Andhra Pradesh. I’d feel accomplished if at least a few people are willing to switch over to sustainable living, by using our products,” she concludes.