The river Ganga is often strewn with floral waste, scattered after religious rituals. Flowers are bought in dozens for a variety of pujas, and then thrown around, lying in waste after the rituals come to an end. To put the floral waste to better use, Ankit Agarwal’s Phool.co ( flower company), attempts to remove floral waste from India’s holy Ganga river and transform it into something useful. This Holi, you can actually buy organic watercolours prepared from the flower waste in Ganga. Here’s what you must know.
Kanpur’s Phool.co Transforms Floral Waste From Ganga Into Incense Sticks & Water Colours
Ankit Agarwal’s Phool.co, consists of a 100-people strong working team, who remove floral waste from the polluted areas of river Ganga in Kanpur. According to Reuters, Agarwal states that around 8 million tonnes of flowers are thrown by worshippers into the river every year, apart from sewage, industrial and domestic waste. Agarwal stated to Reuters, “All the pesticides and insecticides that were used to grow these flowers mix with the river water, making it highly toxic.” Most people in his team are women. They pluck and gather discarded flowers near the river bed. After which, they transform them into paper, incense and watercolours, that can be used for Holi.
Incense Sticks Packaging Is Biodegradable & Infused With Tulsi Seeds
The incense sticks or agarbatti at Phool.co are distinct, unlike any of the ones you’d have bought before. Firstly, they are made from discarded flower waste, scattered in Ganga. Secondly, the packaging for the incense sticks are biodegradable. They are infused with tulsi or basil seeds. So, once you use these products, you can sow the packaging and grow tulsi out of it. Moreover, this Holi, you can play with organic watercolours prepared from this very floral waste. Phool Co. has also received an investment from the social wing of the Tata business group. It has given employment to scores of women, who earlier worked as manual scavengers or were unemployed. This is social entrepreneurship, that indeed needs to be supported.
Meanwhile, here are 10 destinations in India, you must visit during the festive season. Get ready to celebrate with colours, great food, devotion and lots of community spirit.