ROURKELA: Illiterate yet creative, they produce things out of waste for day-to-day use with an eye on environment.
Poor villager Sukra Oram and his ilk in the countryside could be seen leisurely weaving synthetic fibres extracted from plastic bags into ropes for divergent uses.
Welcome to Karichappal village of Kuanrmunda block in the district where people traditionally weaved ropes from ‘Sawai’ (a kind of long grass) and paddy stalks.
Warming under the sun at Bhundutola hamlet, sexagenarian Sukra said he pulls out threads from plastic bags and joins them using the traditional ‘dhera’ (cross like wooden instrument) to make thick ropes. The ropes are used for tethering cattle, tightening the roof bars, fetching water from well and also for rounded grain storage.
Since the production of ‘Sawai’ grass has dropped and paddy stalks decay on exposure to moisture, they are making do with long-lasting plastic ropes, said a rural woman, Phulmani Xalxo (30).
A young villager, Raju Xalxo pointed out that they have never been told about the environmental aspect, but were aware that non-biodegradable plastic bags are harmful if discarded carelessly. Since all hail from the farming community they are cautious about soil pollution.
Though plastic bags flooding the rural market have replaced the environment-friendly gunny bags, the villagers here are cautious not to litter them.
Heaps of plastic fibre and bags can be seen kept isolated at many households for rope making.