Most devotees, while paying a visit to the temple, carry offerings like sweets, incense sticks, coconuts and fragrant flowers. But what happens to these offerings when their quantity supersedes the amount the temple can accommodate? They are either dumped into water bodies or tossed in bins.
But two Ahmedabad engineering graduates are giving these wasted flowers, leaves and coconuts a new lease of life.
Yash Bhatt and Arjun Thakkar, from the city-based Silver Oak Engineering College, have developed a machine that can process flowers and leaves into organic manure in 15 days.
According to a report in The Times of India, the duo has kickstarted a pilot project, in association with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, to collect over 300 kg of organic waste from temples and churn it into 100 kg of manure every day.
Speaking to the publication, Yash Bhatt revealed how a lecture they attended at the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) Innovation Council helped them think innovatively.
He said, “In a lecture, we were told that engineers should find solutions to important challenges facing society.”
It was during the discussions there that they realised that disposal of flowers, leaves and coconut offerings was a major problem because of religious sentiments attached to them.
“We used several compressing machines available but later developed our own machine,” he said.
The project was funded by the GTU innovation council with a grant of Rs 95,000.
He added how they sent a proposal to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for carrying out the project and were happy to find support from the authorities including the mayor, Bijal Patel.
They are now running a pilot in the following wards – Bodakdev, Thatlej, Ghatlodia, Naranpura and Navrangpura. They have partnered with 22 temples and have provided them with individual bins to collect the flowers, coconuts and leaves.
The duo has started selling the fertiliser at Rs 60 per kg. They are also considering involving Sakhi mandals for the sale of the products.
Once the project extends to the entire city, they plan to make incense sticks and rose water, and turn coconuts into cocopits, and sell them under a registered brand name.
What an innovative and eco-friendly way to turn waste into useful manure to support new life, right? Who would’ve thought that a simple innovation could help new fruits and flowers bloom through waste flowers?
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)