A civic body in West Bengal has made rakhis of water hyacinths and sent them to several global leaders, along with the newly elected President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Miniter Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, a senior official said.
The weed, locally known as 'Kochuripana', grows in abundance in freshwater bodies in the state and is a cause of headache for people authorised to clean rivers, tanks and ponds, reported NDTV.
Economic & Social Upliftment Of Women
The eco-friendly rakhis were made by self-help groups and dispatched to several leaders aiming to spread the message of brotherhood and exhibit the efforts of the state in utilising the biodegradable waste material for the upliftment of women on economic and social fronts.
Gopal Seth, the chairman of Bongaon Municipality, said using water hyacinths would also help generate employment opportunities for locals as handicrafts made from water hyacinths are in tremendous demand in various countries, providing export chances. He added that in the overseas market, a bag made of these rakhis fetches about ₹ 2,300.
Seth told PTI, "We have sent rakhis made of water hyacinth to President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan."
How The Idea Progressed?
Bongaon is a city and municipality in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, on the borders of Bangladesh.
The chairman said the municipality had undertaken efforts to make handicrafts from the weeds for the last three to four months with inspiration from CM Mamata Banerjee and the support of the state government.
He said, "Some 1500 women of SHGs are engaged in this endeavour. They are making about 50 items like bags, files and many other items from water hyacinth. The SHG members are making at least ₹ 7000 to ₹ 8000 per month."
Further, he said for the Raksha Bandhan festival falling on Thursday and Friday, 30,000 rakhis had been made of water hyacinth, of which half of the number had already been purchased by the WB government. He added that surprisingly bus operators in the city had taken 3,000 of them.
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