The Mother Cow – Nourishing Rural India

Indigenous Cow or Desi Cow is considered as a powerful and also a holy source for agriculture. There are festivals which are considered incomplete without the presence of cows or have rituals to be performed using cow-based products. The list includes the famous festivals like Gowardhan Pooja and Pongal.

Cow is considered holy as it provides both food and the livelihood. Millions of farmers across India depend on cow for their income. Apart from supporting the Indian economy to a very large extent, cows also form a significant part of people’s life in rural India.

The facts listed below will explain the benefits of cows for the Rural India:

Food – Cow’s milk forms an important part of daily lives for both rural and urban Indians. It is required in all phases of a human life and is considered healthy for kids and adults, both men and women.

Products from cow’s milk include buttermilk, curd, clear milk which is known as ghee, and even several Indian sweets like peda. These are not just food for consumption but have a high medicinal worth which is further talked about in detail in the below para.

Panchagavya – It refers to 5 cow products namely milk, curd, ghee (go ghrut), cow urine and cow dung (gomay). The mixture of these products is considered as a Holi combination.

This combination is not only used to perform various Indian rituals but also practiced in Ayurveda for medicines. Mixture is prepared using different quantities of the products and with the inclusion of required other products depending upon the patient’s ailment. The medicinal value of the mixture is so high that it has reportedly cured a lot of chronic diseases. The major relief to Indian rural people is that these medicines are available easily at a very reasonable price. One may also find Panchagavya soaps, shampoos and other products used in our day to day life.

Panchgavya Elements at a glance

Sl. No.

Name of element



Cow dung

Cow dung has natural anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties.


Cow urine

It is considered as therapeutic in Ayurveda. It is an accepted fact around the globe that it can cure about 3000 diseases.


Cow milk

It has natural combination of nutrients that cannot be found anywhere. Has unique healing properties and amazing strength building power.


Curd (dahi)

It is one of by-products of cow milk. Thus, consequently completely healthy to consume with amazing health benefits.



Cow ghee is considered fit for consumption. Enhances physical as well mental strength, potency, and keeps muscles and bones healthy

Income Resource   Cattle farming and dairy farming is an important source of income for rural Indians. With the development in dairy farming, even a small farmer now owns about 2-10 cows. Selling cow based products like milk and cow dung cake helps them earn their livelihood. Millions across India make their income primarily by selling other products based on cow’s milk like curd, butter, buttermilk, desi ghee (clear butter) and much more.

Organic farming – Did you know cow based products are useful for organic farming? Well absolutely yes! Cow-based products are the means of a healthy organic farming. Today, with the increased use of chemical fertilizers for farming, the quality of crops has declined.

However, organic farming using cow products not only provide a safe and chemical free food but also helps improve the soil fertility. This way, using cow based organic fertilizers for farming has a number of advantages for both the farmers as well as the final consumer.

Improved standard of living – The introduction to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965 caused a massive change in India’s dairy farming. Our country was dependent on foreign countries for our milk requirement at that point of time. The white revolution is also known as operation flood was aimed at encouraging rural people to take up dairy farming.

The income so generated was a bonus for poor village people. This movement not only enhanced the standards of living of rural Indians but also made our country self-sufficient. Today, India is amongst the top milk exporters globally.

The endless list

That’s not all, the list still goes on. Cow-based organic farming has been proven to improve the quality of air around the crops. Insecticides and chemical fertilizers downgrade the air quality when sprayed, and it very dangerous to humans if inhaled. That is why farmers put mask when spraying these chemical products on the crops. However, that’s not the case with cow based organic products. Also, cow dung is used to paint the walls as they keep the home cooler in summers. Cow dung is also used as fuel to cook food in villages. There are numerous other benefits of cows and cow-based products which are not at all limited to rural Indian people only.

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