Udaipur : Tea-vendors at the famous Jaisamand lake, the second largest artificial lake in Asia seem to have realized the environmental, health and emotional benefits of ‘kulhars’. These vendors are deserting plastic cups for the tiny containers made of ‘desi mitti’ which although being costly is eco and health friendly. After four months of continuous persuasion by volunteers of Piramal Foundation, an Ngo, even the Jaisamand Vyapar mandal have agreed to join in for the social cause. Six tea vendors have already joined the move. The adoption of Kulhar has increased the cost of a cup of tea by 2 rupees, but the ‘benefits’ are much more, claim the consumers. To motivate others too in joining the drive, a unanimous decision has been passed by the vyapar mandal that tea would not be sold less than 7 rupees per cup in the area.
“Initially the ease of carriage of plastic cups and their low manufacturing cost proved to be the undoing of kulhars and tea sellers weren’t much keen to switch on to the latter but gradually the convincing worked” said Mayank, a Piramal fellow. A Kulhar costs 80 paise while the plastic cup costs just 15 paise. But plastic cups are non degradable and hence prove fatal for stray animals choking them to death. On Thursday some 5000 kulhars were delivered to six tea sellers here who had ordered for them. A nukkad natak was also organized wherein the health hazards of drinking hot beverage in a plastic cup was elaborated. Diseases like cancer, pneumonia and blood pressure have been reported due to the continuous usage of plastic cups, Mayank said.
The people were also made to understand that Kulhars would also generate income opportunities for villagers who could find a living with the increasing demand of Kulhars. “ While the sale of ‘matkas’ and ‘ diyas’ are seasonal, kulhar making can fetch us money year round since large number of tourists come to visit the lake” potter Shankarlal Prajapat said.