WARANGAL: Mupparapu Raju, 30, is well known among the residents of Duggondi mandal as an innovator who has built several low-cost equipments that have helped the locals in a big way. A resident of Gopalapuram village in Warangal (Rural) district, he has built several equipments like sensor systems, street light systems, and a solar-powered cycle.
Now, he has come forward with a new innovation -- eco-friendly pens made using corn husks.
At a time when discussions surrounding environmental hazards caused by ball-point pens with plastic bodies and refills are going on, Raju says that the use of such eco-friendly pens can bring down the issue to a great extent.
The idea to make corn husk pens hit him after noticing that a good number of farmers in his native mandal were growing maize.“After harvest, these farmers remove the husks from the corn, before sending the produce to markets. Afterwards, they gather all the husks and set them afire, since the outer shells are considered ‘useless’. It was then that the idea to make use of husks hit me. I decided to find a solution to prevent farmers from burning the husks. Now, I make eco-friendly pens using these coatings,” says Raju.
Explaining the method, he said that a corn husk is molded into a cylindrical shape to act as a holder for the refill and then a cap will also be made using it. “After successfully making the first batch of pens, I started approaching maize farmers regularly. Post the procurement, I take the husks to my workshop, clean them using cloths and with the help of an iron rod, mould them into cylinders. It takes just 20 minutes to make one corn husk pen. These pens will not only reduce the use of plastic but also help prevent ryots from burning corn husks. The investment cost per pen is just Rs 10,” he points out.
After manufacturing about 100 corn husk pens, Raju distributed them among his friends and a few local officials. He later gifted a few to Pamela Satpathy when she was the commissioner of Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC). Impressed by the invention, she ordered 1,000 more pens from Raju distributing them among GWMC officials.“Now, several people are approaching me to place orders for the eco-friendly pens. However, I have not started accepting their orders since the maize cultivation season has only started,” he added.