After being in news last summer, cow dung wrapping has made headlines again, this time in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
At a car rally organized in Raipur City, a Maruti Ignis wrapped in cow dung has won the first prize in a modified cars competition, for its creativity and unique theme. The owner of the car, Rajesh, had covered his Maruti Ignis in a layer of cow dung and participated in the rally. Around 21 kg of cow dung was mixed with straws and spread over the entire car. Some designs were also carved into the cow dung coating, as can be seen on the bonnet, pillars and sides.
It may be recalled that similar stories have been reported in the past as well from across the country. In May 2019, a Toyota Corolla owner in Ahmedabad, Gujarat had covered their car in cow dung. The photos and videos of the car had gone viral and widely shared across social media channels. However, at that time, the owner’s purpose was to use the cow dung as a coolant. Another such case was reported in June 2019, when a Mahindra XUV500 owner in Mumbai had wrapped his car in cow dung to keep it cool.
Irrespective of what these people may believe, coating the car with cow dung is unlikely to keep it cool. It is possible that the wet cow dung may cool the car initially, but it won’t be effective in the long run. As the cow dung dries up, it will start working as insulation and may actually overheat the engine.
Mud houses in rural areas are made from a combination of mud, cow dung and straws, and these are of considerable thickness, which works as an effective insulation. Even when the summer heat is at its peak, these mud houses are quite cool on the inside. The opposite effect can be seen in winters. This clearly shows that when the cow dung dries up, it will end up heating the engine. Unless of course the car is sprayed with water every time it starts to dry.
Although the Ignis owner was not trying to cool his car with cow dung, doing it for creative reasons can still create problems. Cow dung may have substances that can damage the car’s paint and corrode the metal underneath.
While you are unlikely to notice an Ignis passing by, the cow dung effect made the car a sensation on the streets. Various themes were showcased at the event, but cow dung wrapping was found to be the most creative idea. We are yet to ascertain if any cash reward was given to the owner.