Published: 24th January 2019
This Republic Day, fly a 'seed flag' with the students of Sai Gramam in Kerala
Despite a ban on Indian national flags made of plastic being in force since the past few years, the sale of the environmentally harmful flags continues in the city due to its cheap price
Have you ever imagined what to to do with the national flags after the Republic or Independence Day celebrations? Now you can leave it in your garden and after a few months, it will be sprouted into a beautiful flower or a vegetable. For the first time in Kerala, the students of Sai Gramam will celebrate their Republic Day with a seed flag instead of a plastic or paper flag. The Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust and Seed Paper India company in association with the government is all set to launch its two new projects - 'seed flags' and 'seed balls' on Thursday. Forest minister K Raju will inaugurate both the projects at Sai Gramam on Thursday.
"We have assured the government that the trust will provide the complete financial support required for the project. The seed flag is a handmade biodegradable type of paper which consists of different plant seeds. The seeds sprout when the paper is planted in soil, thus raising saplings. During the event the trust will introduce 1000 seed flags prepared by the college and school students of Sai trust for the public," said Anand Kumar, executive director of Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust.
Despite a ban on Indian national flags made of plastic being in force since the past few years, the sale of the environmentally harmful flags continues in the city due to its cheap price and no other alternatives. The idea of tricolour made of seed paper, which one could sow to raise saplings, is introduced by a Bangalore based company Seed Paper India.
"The seeds embedded in the flag and balls are neem, teak wood, marigold, tomato, sunflower, basil seeds. The flag is completely eco-friendly, as even the tri-colours used in this is organic ink. For green we will use spinach, for saffron a mixture of turmeric powder and food grain colour will be used and for the chakras, blueberries will be used. It is basically to reduce plastic or paper garbage during such events," said Roshan Ray, founder of Seed Paper India. The cost of one flag is Rs 12, he added.
However, with its other project - 'Seed Balls', the trust plans to sow seeds for a greener future. "Around 5000 seed balls will be introduced to the public on Thursday. Sai trust in collaboration with the educational institution and jail authorities targets to distribute around 10 lakh seed balls before the coming monsoon season across the state," said Anand Kumar.
Volunteers in Saigramam joined hands to roll out seed balls which will later be used to develop forests. The seed ball project envisages tossing 1 lakh seeds balls by the next monsoon on to drylands and man-made deserts into forests across the state.
To reach our target, we are sending volunteers to various districts in the state to carry out this project. Seed balls are rolled with soil and manure. "Seed balling is a very easy method of reforestation as the seeds are tossed in forested areas where the land is already fertile. The seed balls will be kept in shade for 5-6 hours to dry and stored in gunny bags for three months. They are not exposed to sunlight to prevent them from cracking. The seeds are usually tossed right before the monsoon season starts so that they can germinate," said Pradeep Kumar.