New Delhi:Phenyl, usually the white variety, is the cheap cleaning liquid of choice for floors across India. Anyone venturing into the shopping aisles at the Kendriya Bhandar cooperative's stores in the Capital can testify to this. Kendriya Bhandar also supplies housekeeping products to central government offices, which use the chemical to keep floors clean. But with a new mop swabbing all before it, even phenyl has to give way... to Gaunyle.
That's the name of the cleaning liquid which will soon be making the Capital's government office floors sparkle. It's full of natural goodness, being derived from the urine of cows, containing neem and fragrant to boot, redolent as it will be with the scent of pine.
The development is being seen as a "win-win" all round, since the liquid is said to be safer than synthetic cleansers and the trade will generate income for the gaushalas that house cows, regarded as sacred animals by Hindus, translating into better care and comfort for them.
"It is a great product for the health of the safai karamacharis as well as for the cows," said Jagdish Bhatia, managing director of Kendriya Bhandar, which is awaiting a final proposal from the NGO that will be supplying the product, the Holy Cow Foundation, after which the deal will be sealed. Bhatia told ETthat his organisation wanted to encourage such NGOs that provide alternative options.
“这个产品对safai karamacharis（贱民的一种，种姓制度规定，这个种姓终生从事徒手挖糞，见http://safaikarmachariandolan.org）以及牛来说，都棒极了，” K.B.的总经理J. 巴提亚说道。这个产品将由非政府组织'神牛基金会'供应，他们正在等待'神牛基金会'的最终建议，这之后协议将会敲定。巴提亚告诉经济时报说，他的组织希望鼓励这种提供其它选择的非政府组织。
ET learns that it was women and child development minister and ardent animal lover Maneka Gandhi who first floated the idea. "It is a win-win situation for us — no harm to janitors by way of daily exposure to chemicals, and cows will be valued more," she told ET.
经济时报了解到，这一设想是由一位热心爱护动物的人士、'妇女、儿童发展部'部长 M. 甘地率先提出。“对我们来说，这是个双赢局面 - 对每天接触化学品的清洁人员无害、同时牛又更有价值了，” 她对经济时报说。
Anuradha Modi, who heads the Holy Cow Foundation, said Gaunyle has the "anti-microbial and antifungal" properties of cow urine and neem and is meant to "save cows and serve the nation". She has been visiting gaushalas across the country for months now and has chosen a product that's made "most scientifically". The product is being sourced from gaushalas in Barsana near Mathura by Holy Cow.
While the urine-based liquid may not be as strong as phenyl, the absence of harmful side-effects makes the organic product preferable, said Virendra Kumar Vijay, professor, Centre for Rural Development and Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.
This is not the first time the central government has shown interest in this regard, he said.
"In 2004, the government employed experts from leading research institutes to find out more about the disinfectant qualities of cow waste but the study was terminated even before the team could reach conclusive results," he said. "However, from the preliminary studies, we understood that cow urine can be a good alternative to phenyl if mixed with the right components of other herbal extracts and scientifically treated."
Modi said Gaunyle's efficacy had been established in tests.
"The product has been certified 'excellent' by labs in its pest-removing abilities. We have already submitted the certificate to the government and they have approved it," Modi said. The product's acceptance will lead to gaushalas putting the required infrastructure in place. "This will be a great impetus to gaushalas to have laboratory glassware including distillation ware to prepare the urine formulation to make cleaners from valuable cow waste that goes unutilised," she said.
The process involves a hydro-distillation unit isolating the active ingredients that are mixed with extracts of pine, neem and various herbs that have antiseptic and disinfectant qualities. "Cow urine has inherent medicinal components, which are not removed during the process. It only gets more concentrated," she said.
"The product has been mixed with pine essence to smell nice," Modi said, adding that the response of the government on the product's use in central government offices was encouraging. "We have some last-minute documentation work left with them. After that we will start stocking the products to be used in all offices," said Modi, who runs a cow farm at Delhi's Sainik Farms