Good News: Flower Power, Celebrating with Kindness, Springing back to Life, From Scrapes to Smiles
Positive stories from across the country that celebrate the power of the human spirit
As part of Hindu rituals and ceremonies, worshippers offer flowers at temples every day and dispose of them into rivers deemed sacred by believers. Every year, close to eight million tons of organic waste in the form of flower remains end up in India’s waterbodies where they decompose and add to the already heavy burden of domestic and industrial pollutants. “All the pesticides and insecticides that were used to grow these flowers mix with the river water, making it highly toxic,” entrepreneur Ankit Agarwal tells Reuters TV Realizing the enormity of the problem, Agarwal launched Phool, a startup that collects floral waste from the Ganges and recycles it into paper, incense, watercolours and even gulaal for sale. By providing processing and collection jobs to members of local communities, particularly women, Phool.co tackles the problems of pollution and poverty together.
Source: The Optimist Daily, 29.03.21
Giving With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting industries across all sectors, employees all over India have suffered pay cuts, job losses and financial strain for several months now. Troubled by the plight of thousands of working professionals, Yashwant Kolekar, a Pune-based professor of civil engineering, decided to celebrate special family occasions, such as birthdays, by donating money towards COVID-19 relief efforts. His contributions, totalling `4.5 lakh went to efforts such as the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneshwar and to the Mother Global Foundation. “Despite the economy coming to a standstill, governments were expected to spend on providing health-care facilities. Since government machinery and corporates cannot reach out to everyone everywhere, I decided to make my humble contributions towards the collective fight,” says Kolekar.
Source:The Logical Indian, 23.03.21
When Jagdish Chandra Kudiyal’s home village of Sirkot in Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district faced severe water shortages two decades ago, he began planting saplings around a spring that had run dry. The 55-year-old farmer and grocery-store owner knew that, over time, trees can restore groundwater and replenish the spring, which could solve the crisis permanently. Inspired by the 1973 Chipko movement, Kudiyal began a local plantation drive to restore the green cover in the area. “I hired labourers to work in my tea fields and also got people to guard my saplings. And we managed to turn them into trees. We dug deep pits, after every two to three metres that would fill up with rainwater. Finally, the hard work and patience of 20 years paid off when the spring came to life,” he tells The Times of India.
Source:The Times of India, 01.03.21
Children from the Hope Foundation offer thanks for the donation of Katran clothes. (Photo Courtesy: Katran foundation)
Kolkata-based Tanay Jain, a 15-year-old class-10 student, first became aware of the massive amounts of fabric wasted in the process of manufacturing clothes at his father’s textile factory three years ago. Certain there was a better way to utilize the discarded cuttings, he came up with an idea that had the potential to do some good—use the scraps to create upcycled, inexpensive clothing for children from disadvantaged families and reduce the need to add waste to local landfills. With help from friends and family, he started the Katran Foundation that has so far upcycled 3,500 metres of cloth, donated 2,500 outfits to underprivileged children and orphanages and provided jobs to more than 65 craftsmen. Jain juggles studies and Katran’s operations with three of his friends and classmates—Raunak Sarawgi, Pratham Madhogari and Raunak Seksaria.
Source: The Better India, 19.02.21