Raksha Bandhan 2021: From biodegradable material to seeds of indigenous trees, eco-friendly rakhis are the new trend

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As Raksha Bandhan falls on 22 August this year, people are heading to markets purchasing the best of Rakhis for their loved ones. This year, eco-friendly Rakhis are much in demand as people are getting mindful of the consequences that non-eco-friendly materials cause to the environment.

Usually, after the festival of Raksha Bandhan, the disposal of Rakhis becomes a big concern to many environmentalists and groups. However, this awareness towards the environment has led small groups of people making an effort to prepare Rakhis that will not harm nature in any way.

Amid the pandemic, a self-help group called ORMAS in Odisha has introduced eco-friendly Rakhis this year. The women Self Help Groups (SHG) are doing their bit for the environment by making Rakhi from biodegradable materials including waste paper, bamboo, clay, Sabai grass, golden grass, different pulses, coconut shells, and other organic materials.

So far, the Self-Help Groups that have around 2,000 women working as a team, set up 18 stalls across the state. They sell Rakhis priced from Rs 20 and Rs 50. People who are part of these SHGs come from districts including Khordha, Jaipur, Jagatsinghpur, Mayurbahnj, and Keonjhar. Their main aim is to raise awareness for a pollution-free environment.

Other than, ORMAS, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has collaborated with the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and launched the Vruksha Bandhan Project in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad city.

The Vruksha Bandhan Project has at least 1,100 women from tribal communities who are trained in making and designing Rakhis using the seeds of indigenous trees.

Taking to his social media handle, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared about the initiative stating that the project is a unique contribution towards the environment, especially to increase the forest cover.

The uniqueness about these Rakhis is that they are designed with a seed of a tree placed on top of the Rakhi, instead of a traditional bead or star on it. So once the festival is over, this specific Rakhi can be buried in soil and watered daily so that it can eventually become a tree.

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