Flowers used by people in various religious places are either thrown away as litter in the rivers or garbage disposals. This often results into overflowing of pipes as they get choked up. To prevent this, Arjun Thakkar and Yash Bhatt – residents of Ahmedabad – started a unique startup of making fertilizers and incense sticks from such wastes. At present, they collect about one thousand kilograms of flowers every day from 40 derasars and 46 temples in the city. Incense sticks and fertilizers are prepared from this in a small space given by the corporation in Victoria Gardens.
After completing their studies in mechanical engineering at Silver Oak College, they initiated the entire project via GTU’s Innovation Council. During the initial phase, five ports of the city were included in the pilot run. Both of them are hoping that with the support of the trustees and karyakartas, they can rope in more than 500 temples across Ahmedabad. It is worth mentioning that the Corporation takes approximately 3800 metric tons of waste every day. Out of this, a meagre 1 thousand tons of wastes is used to make fertilizers.
Talking about the project, they said that the most difficult task initially was to collect flowers from various temples. After they presented their plan to the mayor and the municipal commissioner, two different cars were provided to them to ease their task. The job of the cars is to only collect flower wastes from the temples and not from anywhere else in the city. Besides this, the government also gave them a fund of Rs. 2 lakhs to help their cause.
The incense sticks prepared from this waste will be given to economically poor women living nearby the temples. The women can earn livelihood by selling these incense sticks. This project works for the cause of sustainable development by helping women from weaker sections of the society to become self-reliant through eco-friendly means.