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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

This Raksha Bandhan, rakhis with seeds to strengthen bond with nature

These rakhis, as the name suggests, are made of biodegradable material and contain pockets or clay seals filled with seeds of herbal and flowering plants.

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2019 03:16 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
What started as a social project for two college students in Mumbai has become a new trend this Raksha Bandhan — eco-friendly ‘seed rakhis’.
What started as a social project for two college students in Mumbai has become a new trend this Raksha Bandhan — eco-friendly ‘seed rakhis’.
         

What started as a social project for two college students in Mumbai has become a new trend this Raksha Bandhan — eco-friendly ‘seed rakhis’.

These rakhis, as the name suggests, are made of biodegradable material and contain pockets or clay seals filled with seeds of herbal and flowering plants. Instead of being discarded after the festival, the rakhis can be planted in the soil.

Over the past month, Palak Kusumakar and Vinay Bhandari — both MBA students of Fazlani Academy of Business Sciences in Andheri — have sold more than 5,000 seed rakhis to customers in Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states through social media.

“As a part of our project, we decided that if we come up with an eco-friendly version of rakhis, we could also generate employment for people living in chawls around our college,” said Kusumakar, co-founder of Rishta, the group that makes the rakhis.

Kusumakar and Bhandari decided their rakhis would contain marigold, daisy and tulsi seeds.

“My uncle suggested these three plants are easy to grow. Once our classmates got to know about the project, they helped us get in touch with people who could make these rakhis, which is how we managed to make a huge number of them,” Kusumakar said.

However, the concept of eco-friendly and seed rakhis started last year in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Abhishek Bardia, co-founder of Delhi-based Abhika Creations, said, “Last year was the first time when we sold clay rakhis. We have added a biodegradable pot and soil as a part of the rakhi package; that way once the customers have everything in place, they will be motivated to plant a sapling,” he said.

Bardia said Abhika Creations has tied up with many Mumbai organisations to distribute their rakhis which contain vinca rosea seeds.

Leafy Tales, a Gurugram-based plant nursery, introduced the concept of seed rakhis that can be planted in order to bring down the cost of organic rakhis.

These rakhis cost between ₹21 and ₹400, depending on the type of package being sold.

“We managed to generate employment for women through this concept, and also managed to do our bit for the environment,” said Divya Gupta, founder of Leafy Tales.

Raksha Bandhan is observed on Nariyal Purnima. It is the full-moon day of the month of Shravana in the Hindu calendar and will be celebrated on August 15 this year.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 00:31 IST