Ever Since We Are Born We Have Known One Thing

Kumar Vishal

May 2nd, 2015 / 12:19 PM

Image Courtesy

Ever since we are born we have known one thing – that paper is made out of trees and we should not waste it so as to save our trees. But While the Chinese are credited with making paper from trees, Indians will soon be credited for making paper from elephant dung. Since 1995, 42-year-old Mahima Mehra was producing handmade paper from cotton rags. But, on a trip to Jaipur, she discovered how similar dry elephant dung looked to the raw fibre from which paper is made. After much experimentation, she eventually came up with usable sheets of paper made of elephant dung, christened Haathi Chaap, meaning Prints of the Elephant.

“I’ve always been interested in recycling, and I wanted to create something which was commercially viable. Haathi Chaap came about in 2003. Once a papermaker, always a papermaker,” says Mehra, founder, Haathi Chaap.

Her method is simple. The dung is washed thoroughly in large water tanks until only the fibre is left behind, and cooked for about four to five hours with salt. It is then washed with hydrogen peroxide to make the paper bacteria-free. The dung is left to dry, followed by converting it into a pulp which is then placed in water-filled cement or wooden vats. Depending on the weight of the paper to be made, the required amount of pulp is mixed with water. To make sheets of paper, each layer of pulp is lifted out from the water using a flat sieve-like mould.

Mehra is not just producing paper, but has also created an assortment of handmade material including bags, frames, photo albums, notebooks, stationery, cards, tags and several other knick-knacks. Her products are available across the country and abroad. “We want to work with as many different raw materials as possible to make environmentally safe paper, and to try make them affordable which is our biggest challenge,” she says.


Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Siruthuli

After A Severe Drought In 2003, This Organisation Is Rejuvenating Water Resources In Coimbatore Ever Since

All Hindu Daughters To Have Equal Right, Even If They Were Born Before Enactment Of Hindu Succession Act, Says SC

My Story: ‘One Thing Which Was Really Sad, Humans Don’t Take The Initiative To Help Another Human In Need’

Section 124A: The Most Anti-National Thing In India’s Independent History

My Story

MyStory: “The Most Soul-Satisfying Thing I Ever Did? Saving A Woman Who Was Left To Die On Railway Tracks”

Misuse Of Aadhaar Biometrics Data

First Known Misuse Of Aadhaar Biometrics Data Reported, Probe Initiated Against 3 Firms

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Plastic Ban: A Patchwork Of Good Intentions And Half-Hearted Implementation

Exclusive

Suspended Civil Servant Files Complaint After Twitter Trolls Issue Rape Threats To Wife

News

After India Bans PSL, Pakistan Stops Broadcast Of IPL Across Nation

News

Citing Increase In Drunk Driving Cases, Mizoram To Become Dry State From April 1

News

WB: Hunger Strike By School Service Commission Aspirants Enters 4th Week; Several Admitted To Hospital After Falling Sick

Legal

“It Is Cold-Blooded Murder,” Says Father Of J&K Principal Who Was “Killed” In Police Custody

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.