A silent movement to curb pollution is underway in Jaipur with thousands of people working to produce plastic-free plantable ‘Seed Rakhi’ for the upcoming Raksha Bandhan festival.
Artisans from women’s self-help groups, FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and various start-ups are working together to make these rakhis, which can be planted and grown into a tree once they are sown in the ground.
“Every year, 620 million rakhis are dumped in waste that never decomposes, generating 1.18 billion tonnes of carbon footprints. This made us ponder and it took us two years of intense research and hard work to develop the ‘Seed Rakhi’,” said Nitin Jain, one of the co-founders of the start-up Indibni.
“Around 60 crore people celebrate Raksha Bandhan across the world each year, but no one has ever thought about where the rakhis end up after the grand celebration.”
“A ‘Seed Rakhi’ can be sown and grown into plants, helping India become greener and cleaner,” said co-founder Ankit Jain.
“Traditional rakhis are embedded with stones and glitter, marking them quite useless once the celebrations are over. Our rakhis are made with seeds of sunflower, amaltas, papaya, rice and basil.”
Indibni joined hands with FLO and other self-help groups from Nagpur in Maharashtra, Kerala and Rajasthan to get more trained and skilled hands to bring out approximately 30,000 such rakhis into the market this year.
The start-up is also organising workshops to teach people how to make seed rakhis, thereby galvanizing the green environment movement.
Another movement that’s benefitting from this is women’s empowerment. In order to make the seed rakhis, Indibni ordered coir from a women’s organisation in Kerala, while other organic material is being ordered from women’s self-help groups in Nagpur and other parts of Rajasthan.
Indibni is also working with organic farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to bring to the market organic rakhis and organic yarn.
The ‘Seed Rakhi’ kit comes with coir and manure to help you sow the seed and grow the plant. The kit also includes a handmade eco-friendly paper diary and is packaged with recyclable and bio degradable paper and cloth.
Another organisation called AnanTaya, a five-time winner of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence, is busy engaging local artisans to create handmade rakhis.
Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on August 15 this year.