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Himachal women use pine needles to make environment-friendly Rakhis

ANI | Updated: Aug 04, 2022 23:22 IST

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) August 4 (ANI): Rural women in different parts of Himachal Pradesh are contributing to preserving the Himalayan region and the environment by making Rakhis and other gift items using dried-up pine needles.
The rural women in different parts of the state are these days involved in making Rakhi using pine needles. The Karwan Society and The Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) jointly have been training women for making Rakhi and other gift items from pine needles for the upcoming Rakshabandhan festival in India.
The organizers have earlier trained only 22 women from the rural areas in 2017, since then more than 500 women have been recorded to participate in making rakhi and other gift items using environment-friendly materials including pine needles.
According to the HIPA's data, around 11 per cent forests of Pine trees were damaged in forest fires and after that, these women started using waste pine needles in the Solan and Shimla districts of the state.
Women are very happy to contribute to the environment and are appealing to the women in the region to buy the Rakhi made by them from Pine needles. These women here are happy as they are getting a chance to make products from pine needles which helps them earn their own money, making them self-dependent.

"We did not know anything about how to make Rakhi and other items from Pine needles. Once we got training from HIPA and we made a large number of items during the Covid-19 lockdown and later we sell these items. We have sold over one Lakh rupees items and now we are making Rakhi and are happy to help the environment. We are attaching some plant seed in each Rakhi and once it is disposed of in open space some plant would be grown," said a local woman.
From the sale of Rakhi and gift items, these women are improving their economic conditions from the sale of Pine products.
"We got training from March 3rd to 8th in 2020 and were able to learn how to make products from pine needles. During the training, I got a salary of 30,000 rupees and the other 22 women also got a good amount of salary. We are now training more women; I learned and earned money from this. I wanted to buy a smartphone but could not do it and after making Rakhi and other pine needle products I was able to buy a smartphone. So today we are making Rakhi and want to save the forests from fire and are contributing in saving the forests and sending Rakhi to the market, I want every woman to buy this Rakhi and help to save and preserve the ecology," said a trainer for women.
"It is good to be here, I started learning to make products from pine needles. These Rakhi products and gift items are in demand these days ahead of Raksha Bandhan. I feel privileged and happy to contribute to making women aware of the preservation of the environment," said another young woman.
The organizers and motivators for these women believe that more and more women started making these products of pine needles, and so far over 500 women have joined.
"We started this process with training 22 women in 2017 and today we have over 500 women in Shimla and Solan districts making products from waste pine needles, this is helping in saving Cheer Pine forests from a forest fire at that time there was a data of 11 per cent reports of forest fire and now it has been reduced to 2.5per cent. These women have earned 84 Lakh rupees so far from making products of pine needles. They are helping and contributing to the environment and now they would earn more from Rakhi and have attached a seed to Rakhi for green growth in the region," said an environmentalist. (ANI)