Diwali is one of the most auspices celebrations in Indian tradition. It is celebrated by wearing new clothes, bursting firecrackers, and eating sweets. But in recent years, we have been thinking about the exploitation of marginalized communities and our environment. And now, a firm has created a fresh way to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. A firm named Gramart Project has launched a new initiative called ‘Seed Crackers’ and ‘Seed Sweets’ to raise awareness about the eco-friendly Diwali theme, this firm has launched ‘Beej-Parva’, a series of eco-friendly, exploitation-free, and significant substitutes to the current methods of celebrating Diwali.

Seed Crackers:

To keep alive the nostalgia of bursting the firecrackers during Diwali, but avoiding the smoke, noise, and bright lights, which affect birds, animals, and humans, resident crafters of Gramart Project have developed seed crackers. The crafters spent a few weeks teaching rural women in the region of Paradsinga village, situated in Sausar Tehsil of Chhindwara district, Madhya Pradesh, on how to make crackers look-alike from waste paper with seeds rooted in them. 40 - 50 families have learned this work and have made crackers laced with microgreens, chakras with onion seeds, and bombs with roselle seeds, and more.

The look-alikes are handmade using water paper collected from paper mills and printing presses. Once the resident crafters worked out a process of design and made the look-alike crackers and sweets, small workshops were organized for village women, and they were provided the necessary raw material. The primary motive behind these types of crackers is to motivate people to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly manner and select something beneficial for future generations. One cannot burn these crackers but would have to sow them in the soil, water it, and watch it grow into a plant. These amazing seed crackers can be bought from some e-commerce platforms.

Seed Sweets:

Sweets are significant at any Diwali parties, and to start conversations about the realities of food we eat during Diwali, Gramart Project along with the farmers, and crafters are making sweet look-alikes from waste paper mache. These sweets can be planted in soil and coco peat and within a few months, it will grow into a plant. They have made Palm Oil-Free Laddus because palm oil is a commonly utilized medium in making chips, noodles, other food items, and cosmetics. India has reduced import duties on palm oil which leads to ‘only producers’ growing more. And this has led to the collapse of the village oil extraction industry that is famous for cold-pressed oils. This palm oil-free laddu indicates the way to initiate discussions around the bitter truth about the oil industry and why people should choose locally grown and pressed oils.

Wheatless cookies are another type of sweet, and these cookies when planted, will grow into brinjal and purslane. Growing 1 kg of wheat in India has a water requirement of over 1000 liters, and it is irrigated either from under the ground or from canals and lakes. The wheatless cookies are a reminder to people about the consumption of water and a request to be conscious about what you should consume. Another sweet is sugar-free Barfi, and it will grow into Okra and Amaranthus after planting. These sugar-free barfis give the message of exploitation of farmers during the festive seasons by huge companies to produce the sugar, which is the main ingredient of several sweets.

The last sweet is one of the most popular milk sweets and it names as ‘Cham-Cham’. Gramart Project has launched ‘Sovereign Cham-Cham’, and it aims at putting forward the discussions about the consumption pattern of dairy in India. The dairy sector in India is shifting from farmers and pastoralists to industrial giants. And with the support of the government policies, the small producers are becoming slaves of the corporate world. Sovereign Cham-Cham will grow into chilies and carrots after plating.

A few months ago, Gramart Project also launched Rakhis to raise awareness along with consumers about the exploitation of cotton growers and how the monopoly of textile mill owners have affected the livelihoods of weavers and spinners. Now, the finished products of these unique and eco-friendly crackers and sweets can be directly shipped to consumers and send to collaborators who distribute the products through their e-commerce platforms. And anyone who wishes to spend this Diwali in an eco-friendly manner can order these unique and amazing look-alikes of Diwali crackers and sweets.



(https://gramartproject.org/ / www.thefactnews.in)