Published: 30th August 2018
Next time, opt for flags made by Kritika Saxena which grow into plants when buried
Saxena figures that a website will have help streamline the orders, so she hopes to set one up soon
With Independence Day far behind us, one wonders what happens to the tricolour flags after they are brought down from their flagpoles. What if we told you that instead of storing them in a dusty corner or chucking them in the bin, you can bury them (which is a perfectly legal way of handling a damaged flag) and they will sprout into plants? Sounds far-fetched? Well, the flags made by Delhi-based Kritika Saxena sure will. This Independence Day, she couriered 14,000 of her flags across the country, most of which found their way to Hyderabad while the rest went to places like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Lucknow. Needless to say, this 24-year-old was delighted to do her bit for the country and the environment.
Because of the monsoons, the seeds would sometimes sprout even before the flag reached its destination, so Saxena had to be careful about that
Explaining how these wonder flags are made from seed paper, Saxena says, "Seed paper is basically recycled, cotton fibre that has tomato and chilli seeds embedded in them," and after hoisting them, they can be buried with all the respect and honour they deserve instead of rotting in a musty corner. "I would see people buy flags and the next day, they would be lying around in tatters or in dustbins. Unhappy with the situation, I researched and came up with this idea," says Saxena, adding that she still doesn't have a name for 'this' venture.
Initially, I was making the paper at home, but then I started getting orders in such large numbers, so I had to outsource it
Kritika Saxena, Entrepreneur
But name or no name, that didn't stop schools, corporates and even individuals from calling in to order these flags when they heard about them and let's just say, August 13, 14 and 15 were very busy days for her and Sanjoy Pyne, a friend who had agreed to help her out. And with 14,000 orders, she really did need the help. "I underestimated the demand. The minute I broadcasted my venture on one of the WhatsApp groups, the message spread like wildfire and orders started pouring in," she narrates. A 3x2 inches flag is priced at Rs 8. Next up, she is targetting Diwali, with a plan to make it more eco-friendly. We don't know what it is yet, but it might be prudent to read those WhatsApp forwards for a change. They might just make your Diwali a tad greener.