The third edition of India’s biggest Indie music festival, the Majuli Music Festival, is right around the corner to enrapture art appreciators.
By the same token, it is an effort to preserve the magical island of Majuli by being a Zero-Waste Festival. With LIVE indie music, camping under the stars, traditional ethnic food, and a lush-green view, the festival yearns to promote “hope” amongst the Majuli community for a better future.
The cultural hub of Assam, Majuli, is the world’s largest riverine island situated on the mighty Brahmaputra. It inhabits 1.6 lakh people living in about 230 villages with zero urban settlement. Home to tribal ethnic groups, the pristine land boasts of pretty paddy fields and hyacinth-filled ponds. Unfortunately, due to rapid riverbank erosion and annual floods, the local community faces an impending danger of displacement and economic instability. Even though the government has set up structural measures to combat the issue, a long-term solution calls for the adoption of non-structural methods, practices as simple as introducing indigenous plants to a large section of the ecosystem.
For the same, the Majuli Music Festival foundation has joined hands with The Midway Journey, The Northeast Waste Collective and RIGBO towards sustainable waste management and environmental protection, thus encouraging indigenous practices among the Northeast population while also bringing Majuli on the map. The festival’s plan includes designing a three-day customized plan for Majuli’s environmental context. By ‘Zero-Waste’, it means no waste would be burnt, dumped, or sent to landfill, and the biodegradable, non-biodegradable waste, and sanitary waste, would be segregated and further sent for recycling.
The partnership aims to achieve its goal of zero waste by utilizing the human resource of the land. The local youth groups are being empowered and trained to take the lead on the same. Sustainability checks, guidelines for zero waste for the stakeholders, and encouraging zero waste practices by showcasing traditional practices of the Majuli community, have been on the checklist.
One of the many innovative ways of inclusion includes the local bamboo artists building traditional huts for homestays, and that too through a competition (creating maximum huts)! Not only will this assist them in revenue generation, but it will also give currency to the bamboo plantation as something which is environment friendly and beautiful flora. The local porters (kumars) for whom the river bank protection methods like geo-mates/ rock spars have become a barrier in attaining quality clay that they are renowned for; are also getting a chance to earn some extra income by trying their hands at other handicraft that they showcase and sell during the festival. The locals are already gearing up for the artists and attendees and are setting aside sustainable food produce and creating handicrafts, handwoven clothing, etc. in addition to setting up bamboo huts, homestays within the villages, and camping sites for their stay.
Nonetheless, the Majuli Music Festival eyes a continuation of the initiative. Its ‘Vision 2025’ is to build Majuli as a ‘Zero Waste Township’ that is self-sustainable and is able to address climate change issues through local, indigenous practices too. With an undaunting spirit of cherishing the blessed land and the assured support from the Majuli community, the festival is all set to celebrate the new dawn.
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