Single Use Plastic Ban To Revive Good Old Indian Tradition Helping MSMEs
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Last month saw the Indian Government take a significant step that caught the attention of the global audience.
As a part of the recent plastic ban drive, the Government has decided to replace plastic cups and plates with ‘Kulhad’ or terracotta products at 400 Indian railway stations.
The move has the approval of the Minister of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari announced who had been in talks with the Ministry of Railways to serve tea and hot beverages in kulhads since last month.
In a press release, the MSME Ministry had written to the Railway Ministry and the Ministry of Road Transport to make ‘kulhads’ mandatory at all bus stations and railway stations.
departments has been forging ahead with Kulhad use to bring plastic at screeching halt.
According to the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), recorded estimate of plastic waste generated in India in 2018-19 remained at 660,787.85 tones, equivalent to 68,000 trucks of waste.
‘Kulhads’ - a Win-Win
Government’s efforts to create employment for the poor has seen some hope with the move. Post Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in 2018, KVIC launched ‘Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana’ in June 2018. ‘Kulhad’ as a mission would help in improving economic conditions of the potters community.
The potter community makes at least 700 kulhads in a single day. Few years ago, Indian potters could make maximum 100-125 kulhads per day on traditional chak (potter wheels).
Origin of ‘Kulhad’
It has been studied that Kulhad has been part of the culture since the Indus Valley civilization (around 5,000 years ago). Made from clay soil and terracotta, kulhad is considered to be environment friendly and healthy material to consume hot beverages. Majorly served in North India and Pakistan, Kulhad is also known as Shikora.
The Government distributed over 10,620 electric pottery wheels along with adequate blungers, pug-mills and electric kilns, which produce 74,34,000 kulhads per day.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena thanked Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet for supporting KVIC's #KumharSashaktikaran by adopting kulhads & other terracotta products at 400 important Railway Stations in the country.
“It will bring smiles on the faces of marginalised potters,” the tweet said.