Biodegradable Yoga Mat | 12 May 2021
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Recently, six young girls from the fishing community from Assam have developed a biodegradable and compostable yoga mat called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’.
- The intervention was triggered through an initiative by North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR).
- NECTAR is an autonomous society, set up under the Department of Science & Technology, with its headquarter at Shillong, Meghalaya.
- About the Mat:
- The ‘Moorhen Yoga mat’ is named after Kam Sorai (Purple moorhen, a resident bird of Deepor Beel Wildlife sanctuary).
- It is a hand-woven 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable mat developed from water hyacinth.
- The mat could improve the aquatic ecosystem of the wetland (Deepor Beel) through removal of water hyacinth, help sustainable production of utility products with community engagement and generate livelihood for indigenous communities to become completely ‘Atamanirbhar’.
- Water Hyacinth:
- Water hyacinth is a type of invasive floating plant found in water bodies across the world.
- These invasive species block the sunlight reaching and oxygen level in water systems, which results in damaging water quality and seriously affecting various life forms in the ecosystem.
- It is also referred to as the terror of Bengal given its effect on the local ecology and lives of the people.
- It has an effect on irrigation, hydroelectric generation and navigation.
- It also leads to a drastic reduction in fish production, aquatic crops and an increase in diseases caused by mosquitoes.
- Deepor Beel:
- Deepor Beel (Beel means wetland or large aquatic body in Assamese) located about 10 km Southwest of Guwahati city is considered one of the large and important riverine wetlands in the Brahmaputra Valley of lower Assam.
- Deepor Beel has both biological and environmental importance besides being the only major storm-water storage basin for Guwahati city.
- It is considered one of the staging sites for migratory birds in India; and some of the large congregations of aquatic birds in Assam during winter.
- Because of the richness of avian fauna it enjoys, Deepor Beel has been selected as one of the Important Bird Area (IBA) sites by Birdlife International.
- Deepor Beel has also been designated as a Ramsar Site in November 2002.