Living up to their organisation’s name Sankalp (meaning a resolution), a group of women in Jhabua district has been creating awareness amongst the tribals about the hazards of plastic bags for a decade and till now has encouraged thousands of them to make paper bags in state’s tribal villages. The paper used in this drive is mostly old newspapers and magazines.
They formed Sankalp about 10 years ago to discourage the usage of polythene bags for environment conservation in the rural and urban Jhabua.
Talking to HT on Wednesday, Sankalp founder Bharti Soni said, “Our aim was to reach out to the tribals of the district who were using plastic bags, which are easily available in the remote areas of the district. We visited all the villages of the district and camped there to teach them how to make paper bags.” Some tribals have started making paper bags and are supplying to the city for their livelihood, she added.
Plastic bags are banned for its adverse impact on the environment in many cities. Littering of plastic bags poses a major threat to animals, birds and other aquatic wildlife who mistake it for food and die of various diseases. In addition, plastic bags take a very long time to degrade.
Besides tribals, Sankalp women also train school kids, jail inmates, and city’s various groups to make paper bags. “We also encourage plantation in the tribal area as the district’s forest cover has decreased in the last few years,” said Rashmi Yadav, another member of the group.
“This will definitely have a positive impact on the environment of the region,” said Mahesh Sharma, an environmentalist working amongst the tribals of Jhabua.
“Women of this tribal-dominated district are worried about the environment and it is a very positive sign for development of the society,” said Mukul Saxena, a senior advocate of Jhabua district.