Have you ever wondered what happens to the mounds of flowers, that are presented as offerings to deities, in religious institutions across India?
Take Varanasi for example. Lakhs of devotees visit the holy city on a daily basis, and according to a 2013 report by The Times of India, it was found that roughly 3.5 to 4 tonnes of floral waste goes down the drains every day.
And this is just one city. Imagine the scale of waste that must be generated across the country!
That is why there’s a pressing need to address floral waste management across all religious centres in the country.
Praveen Chauhan, a social entrepreneur and designer from Gaya in Bihar is doing just that…by transforming the floral waste generated by the renowned Mahabodhi temple into natural dyes through his social enterprise, MATR.
MATR is the Sanskrit word for mother.
It was the need to revive the Khadi culture and uplift the local weaver communities that led Praveen Chauhan to move back to Bihar and establish MATR.
Using only natural resources for production, the venture’s foundation rests on the vision of a sustainable future and they try to achieve this through environmentally responsible initiatives.
Recently, MATR joined its hands with Because of Nature, an Australia-based sustainable clothing label and unfurled the Happy Hands Project. The initiative was conceived with the goal of bringing sustainable employment to the local women by repurposing discarded floral waste from the ancient Mahabodhi temple to make natural dyes for the Khadi products.
About 50 underprivileged women are part of the project, under which the collection and transportation of the materials is being undertaken by MATR.
Reference- MATR website, The Better India