Agartala: Responding to the call of a plastic-free India, thousands of indigenous people in Tripura are engaged in preparing eco-friendly brooms amidst lockdown imposed as a precautionary measure against the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Around three lakh eco-friendly broomsticks are now being prepared using bamboo as the handles across seven centres of the Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation (TRPC) in the state.
Taking to the twitter, chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb wrote, “Delighted to share that we are preparing eco-friendly broomstick in Tripura where the handles of broomstick are made-up of bamboos. Approximately three lakh brooms with bamboo made handles are getting ready at 7 centers of TRPC throughout the state”.
“It is getting promoted under PMVDVK programme. 1000 artisans from indigenous communities are engaged in this process. I urge everyone to use this Tripura made eco friendly Broom. This is our humble effort towards Plastic free Bharat. I appreciate the efforts of TRPC & Our artisans”, he wrote.
To keep a check on the use of plastic, the Forest Research Centre for Livelihood Extension (FRCLE), Agartala has come up with the idea of making Phuljharus (made up of broom grass) a much in demand essential utility product.
The handles are made of suitable bamboo species called Bolu (Schyzostachymdullooa) and Muli (Melocannabaccifera), which are abundantly available in Tripura.
Brooms are made from inflorescence of Thysanolaema maxima, locally called Arjun flowers, which are one of the important minor forest produces of Tripura. This is used for sweeping after tying several in a bundle.
“Phuljharu” tying of bundles is done with bamboo slivers and its handle is also made of bamboo to avoid using plastics. Broom grass grows naturally in the hilly slopes in Tripura and NE States.
The local people meet their requirement generally from neighbouring forests and the urban population generally purchases it from the local markets. Collection of Arjun flowers starts by January end, which continues till March-April in mostly 3 installments every year.
“During this period, the forest dwellers collect Arjun flowers from forests and sell it through JFMCs. Due to the extension initiatives of FRCLE, many jhumia communities have also started its cultivation on Jhum abandoned areas,” a press statement read.
Earlier, chief minister Deb launched the eco-friendly broomsticks at a programme in Agartala and called for the promotion of ‘Make in Tripura’. He also said that it would provide employment generation to the local communities besides helping the global communities in beating the plastic pollution.