India is a country of diverse culture and religious significance. We have many temples across the country, and we see devotees worshipping their God Almighty every day. It is a belief in Hindu tradition that anything offered to God or used for worshipping including flowers, can’t be dumped in the garbage. It is considered pious, and hence, it is discarded in the Rivers. Now, we can only imagine the magnitude of pollution that is being created by this discarding the temple waste. India has many temples in each city, and the major rivers face more contamination as people from faraway places also come to discard flowers and other items into the river.
People believe that they have respectfully discarded the flowers in the river, but they are not aware of the repercussions of their action. The flowers are leading to massive water pollution. They contain arsenic, lead, and cadmium from farm runoff. Flowers are also full of pesticides and insecticides. Once these flowers are in the river, their thick residue dissolves to mix with chemicals and begin the rotting process. As a result, the fish and aquatic animals get killed, and the oxygen level gets suppressed. Not just that, it also produces compounds that reek of toxicity. According to some studies, floral waste is estimated to account for 16% of the total river pollutants and tons of it is discarded every day.
We at For Green Future recognized the grave issue. Though there are many campaigns running for decreasing various types of pollution from the environment, there is hardly any significant work being done cleaning rivers. Thus, our team took the onus of contributing our bit to Mother Nature. We realized that it is a huge responsibility as every revolution that happened in history had a small beginning. We can only expect a change when we begin to work towards it. Thus, we came up with the project ‘Prayas’. The project Prayas has many implications and the benefits are not just confined to prevent the pollution of the river.
Our project has also helped in offering employment to needy people who can support their livelihoods. They help us in collecting tons of flowers from the temples. The flowers go through thorough detoxification and cleaning process in the waste processing units. After the process of shredding, the bio-enzymes break down complex waste particles and create organic vermicompost.
Our project recycles the waste which benefits in two ways- by keeping the rivers clean and creating compost fertilizer which is great for growing crops and free of chemicals. In future, we aspire to target more temples which witness devotees all year round which lead to generation of massive temple waste. The process is not as easy as it sounds. The task of collecting flowers is challenging, and we are doing a lot of research to deploy people and equipment that can help in making our job easy. We are also working towards improving the quality of our vermicompost to offer excellent crop.
We expect more and more support from people in our cause so that we can contribute out a bit in preserving the environment. It is high time we assess our thoughtless actions and rectify them to save our precious environment. The repercussions will have to borne by our coming generation. It is up to us to leave a good legacy for them and not polluted earth to live!