Camel dung products as new entrants

New Delhi: Handmade paper, woolen mats and rugs and even mosquito repellents made out of camel dung is finding its way into urban market shelves.
 
Novelty items made from camel milk, wool and dung are being introduced into cities through Camel Charisma, the marketing arm of Rajasthan`s Lokhit Pashu Palak Sanshtan (LPPS), a society aimed at supporting livestock dependant people. "We have introduced a variety of paper products like diaries, journals, calendars, mobile covers, greeting cards and other stationery items made from the dung of  camels," says Hanwant Singh Rathore, Director of LPPS, which is exhibiting for the first time at the 19th edition of the annual Dastkar Mela here.
 
What began as a means to increase the income of traditional communities who have been associated with camel rearing in Rajasthan, the initiative is now spreading into other areas as well. "Our best selling products are handmade paper," says Rathore who has tied up with a Delhi organisation to produce the paper products.
 
Camel dung is dried and ground finely, washed many times before being treated and  mixed with 30 per cent waste cotton sourced from areas like Tirupur  and finally made into pulp that gets converted to paper. "We are trying to better the quality of paper and make it finer," points out Rathore.  The paper, he says, can contain as many as 32 desert plants that the camels feed on and it could even sprout if kept wet! A camel breeder himself, Rathore, is a regular visitor at the annual camel fair in Pushkar where his organisation has been selling the products.