THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ever thought about what you would do with the Tricolour replica after the Republic Day celebrations? Well, you can simply leave it in your garden and watch it grow into a beautiful flower or a vegetable!
For the first time in Kerala, students of Sai Gramam will celebrate Republic Day with seed flags instead of plastic or paper flags. The Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust and Bengaluru-based Seed Paper India, in association with the government, are set to launch their two new projects, ‘seed flags’ and ‘seed balls’ at Sai Gramam on Thursday. Forest Minister K Raju will launch the projects.
“We have assured the government the trust will provide the complete financial support required for the projects. The seed flag is a handmade, biodegradable type of paper which consists of different plant seeds. The seeds sprout when the paper is planted in soil. During the launch, the trust will unveil 1,000 seed flags prepared by the college and school students of Sai Trust,” said Anand Kumar, executive director of Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust. Each flag costs Rs 12.
“The seeds embedded in the flag and balls are of neem, teak wood, marigold, tomato, sunflower and basil. Organic ink is used to colour them. For the colour green, we used spinach, for saffron, a mixture of turmeric powder and food grain colour and for the Ashoka Chakra, blue berries. The move aims at reducing plastic or paper waste during such events,” said Roshan Ray, founder of Seed Paper India, which introduced the idea of Tricolour replicas made of seed paper, which can be planted. Though sale of Tricolour replicas made of plastic was banned a few years ago, it continues in the city due to their cheap price and the lack of an alternative.
With its other project ‘Seed balls’, the trust plans to sow the seeds for a greener future. “Around 5,000 seed balls will be unveiled at the launch. The Sai trust, in collaboration with the education institution and jail authorities, targets to distribute around 10 lakh seed balls across the state before the monsoon,” said Anand Kumar.
Volunteers helped in rolling the seed balls which will later be used to develop forests. The project envisages tossing 1 lakh seed balls by the next monsoon.
“To reach our target, we are sending volunteers to various districts. The seed balls are made using soil and manure. Seed balling is a very easy method of reforestation as the seeds are tossed in forested areas where the soil is already fertile,” said Pradeep P S, coordinator of the project.