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Uttarakhand CM recycles predecessor’s ‘initiative’ for recycling bouquets, claims as his own

The initiative of giving away bouquets (presented to the CM by visitors) from the CMO and residence to Nari Niketan for recycling was originally launched by former chief minister Harish Rawat in 2015

dehradun Updated: Aug 27, 2017 20:19 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakahnd News,recycling bouquets,Harish Rawat
Women attend a training programme at Nari Niketan for using flowers for making incense sticks in Dehradun. (HT File Photo)

An “eco-friendly initiative” launched by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat --- of providing bouquets he receives to the homeless women to turn into incense sticks --- is earning him brickbats.

Reason: The “significant initiative”, as a communiqué sent out from the CM’s press information bureau Saturday stated, was originally launched by the previous Congress government, around two years ago.

The communiqué stated that Rawat has taken a “significant initiative” of giving away bouquets he receives for recycling and turning them into agarbattis and dhoop (incense sticks).

All bouquets received by the CM and his office are being handed over to Nari Niketan (the state-run shelter home for homeless women in Dehradun) where inmates use them to make incense sticks, thereby creating a means of livelihood for them, it said. The CM has thus “turned even bouquets of flowers into a medium of environment conservation and employment generation for the women”, the eulogizing note claimed.

A quick check, however, reveals that the initiative of giving away bouquets (presented to the CM by visitors) from the CMO and residence to Nari Niketan for recycling was originally launched by former CM Harish Rawat on October 3, 2015.

The state’s social welfare department had tied up with a Delhi-based organization for training 50 of Nari Niketan’s mentally challenged inmates for making incense sticks from flowers. HT had published a report about its launch in its edition dated October 4, 2015.

District probation officer Meena Bisht, who is in-charge of Nari Niketan, confirmed that the shelter home had earlier been receiving flowers from (former CM) Harish Rawat’s residence, and the same is now being done by the current CM (T S Rawat). “This has led to easy availability of raw materials for the inmates,” she told HT.

The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, took a swipe at the CM for trying to seek ‘credit’ for a programme that was launched under its (Congress’) government.

“Good to know that (CM) Trivendra ji is carrying forward a constructive initiative from our tenure…but it’d have been better if he (the CM) also admitted it instead of publicizing it as his own. Considering the dignity of his post, he should not shy away from accepting the truth,” former CM Harish Rawat said.

When contacted, CM’s media coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat said that he was “not aware of the status” of any such initiative at Nari Niketan. “The matter is not in my knowledge but the message, which the CM wants to give out is clear – by forwarding bouquets that he receives from visitors every day for recycling, he’s trying to prevent wastage of flowers and also inspire others into doing the same (recycling waste),” he told HT.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 20:19 IST