This yoga mat is an eco-conscious tribute to Deepor Beel in Assam

Six ladies, belonging to the fishing group from Deepor Beel (a everlasting freshwater lake in Guwahati, Assam), have labored collectively to create biodegradable and compostable yoga mats that replicate their group’s beliefs in biodiversity, conservation and cultural continuity.

After engaged on it for a 12 months, the mat manufactured from pure supplies — largely water hyacinths — is able to be launched. As a tribute to the place they arrive from, the mat is called after the Purple Moorhen (
Kaam Sorai in Assamese), a migratory hen that’s distinctive to the
beel (lake).

The design and technique of dyeing and weaving are allenvironment-friendly. This additionally contains making the mat sturdy, easy, gentle and most significantly, slip-proof.

Deepor Beel is recognised as a Ramsar Web site, a wetland of worldwide significance, and for hundreds of years has beena supply of livelihood for 9 fishing villages in its neighborhood. Through the years, the lake has seen fast development and accumulation of water hyacinth that has led to the shrinkage of the water physique and disrupted the pure ecosystem.

From the bottom, up

The ladies — two of whom are named Mitali Das, together with Romi Das, Bhanita Das, Sita Das and Mamoni Das — have named their mission ‘Simang’ — translating to ‘dream’ — which took wings after they determined to hunt the experience of Rituraj Dewan and Nirmali Barua, identified for his or her work on pure merchandise and biodiversity.

After weeks of brainstorming, planning and studying through the 2020 lockdown, the ladies had been in a position to give you a foolproof construction to their product.

Mitali Das who can also be a skilled beautician sees this as their first step to change into entrepreneurs and create alternatives of livelihood for others. She says, “Making use of pure issues from the
beel to design merchandise is just not new. However we wished to maneuver away from the standard and make an affect. We all know weave andhave the uncooked materials We simply wanted path. That’s the place Rituraj and Nirmalya stepped in. From day one, they made it our dream and objective, making us sit up for the ultimate product and the response from folks. What we now have now could be very distinctive, earthy and rustic,however engaging product.”

Scaling out

The ladies wove water hyacinths utilizing conventional Assamese loom and totally different combos of strategies, supplies and instruments to develop the mat. It concerned the engagement of 38 ladies from three peripheralvillages (Keotpara, Notun Basti and Borbori).

Noticing that know-how intervention might additionally improve the manufacturing charge, Rituraj and Nirmalya steered the ladies attain out to North East Centre for Know-how Software and Attain (NECTAR).

“As soon as NECTAR, an autonomous physique beneath the Division of Science and Know-how (DST), got here on board, it received simpler for us. As the gathering, drying and preparation of the water hyacinth earlier than weaving is crucial course of, NECTAR’s technical interventions like utilizing a photo voltaic dryer which lowered the drying time from 10 days to about three days propelled us to work tougher. It additionally compensated for the loss in time as a consequence of heavy rains that happen continuously on this a part of the nation; we now have a six-month-long wet season (Might to October),” says Mitali.

Simang plans to launch the product on World Yoga Day (June 21, 2021). “The households which initially refused to work with us at the moment are queuing as much as ask for work. Greater than the cash, the concept of changing into self-reliant and to be a part of a mission that makes folks take discover of our villages is an enormous driving pressure. They now inform us, regardless of the scale of the involvement, we might like to be part of it to make our Deepor Beel well-known,” provides a happy Mitali.

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