Interested in a purely natural therapy to get rid of those extra pounds around your belly or a remedy for irregular bowel movements, skin aliments and even cancer? Why not try 'gau mutra' or cow's urine for a change.
After having introduced a law to protect cows from being slaughtered, the BC Khanduri-led BJP government in Uttarakhand is planning to research on the medicinal properties of cow urine and market the product.
Based on the immensely successful Operation Flood model of Gujarat, the ambitious plan involves collection of cow urine with help of cooperatives and marketing it among those interested in trying the drink or medicines prepared from it.
Hindu scriptures and research conducted at various places across the country say that cow urine, which is used in 136 Ayurvedic medicines is beneficial for aliments like obesity, kidney and liver trouble, heart problems and even some types of cancer.
"Studies conducted by the Bareilly-based Indian Veterinary Research Institute shows that urine procured from the auburn coloured cows has properties to fight cancer," said Agriculture Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Based on such findings, the state government has named this species of cows as Badri Gai and is planning to conduct a census of all auburn-coloured bovines in every district with the intention of bottling their urine and selling it.
According to the minister, several leading companies dealing with Ayurvedic medicines are procuring cow urine at Rs 4 per litre from the state at present. Prominent Yoga guru Swami Ramdev is also understood to have expressed willingness to buy the raw product at Rs 6 per litre for his Divya Yog Pharmacy in Haridwar.
The government has earmarked a budget of Rs 20 crores for a science and technology center spread over 30 acres in Chamoli district, which would conduct R&D into medicinal aspects of cow urine.
According to a census carried out in 2003, Uttarakhand has over 11 lakh heads of local cows and nearly 1.77 lakh heads of cross breed cows. As per estimates, one cow discharges nearly 4-5 litres of urine every day.
Based on this figures, the government has surmised that if the wasted urine, which would be nearly 5.2 million litres daily is collected and sold, farmers and cattle-owners from Uttarakhand can earn around Rs 2 crores every day.
Rawat informed that plans are already underway to set up cooperative committees in the village and block levels across the state, which would collect and store the urine before it's sold to companies manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines.