Ahead of the Medaram Jatara festival, scheduled to be held in Mulugu district of Telangana from 5th to 8th February, 2020, the district administration has offered to exchange one kilogram of single use plastic (SUP) for one kilogram of good quality rice.
The move is intended to make the whole district free of single use plastics before the festival. So far, a whopping 44,848 kilograms of SUPs have been exchanged for rice, according to District Collector, Mr. C Narayana Reddy who is overwhelmed with the response received so far.
The DC informed that the awareness campaign on curbing SUPs was first held over a period of 10 days beginning on October 16, 2019. “Celebrate the beauty of Medaram by taking part in ‘Plastic Free Medaram’ campaign,” the announcement read.
The message was reinforced by various groups of people including school children who engaged in cleanliness drives by picking up plastic that was littered on the roadsides. Also, an exhibition was held to promote alternatives to single use plastic, such as cloth bags, pottery, wooden spoons and leaf baskets.
Incidentally, rice traders and businessmen have donated rice for this noble initiative, keen to see a plastic free Mulugu soon, the DC added.
Having originated in Medaram of Tadvai Mandal in Mulugu district, Medaram Jatara is a tribal festival honouring the goddesses celebrated in the state of Telangana. According to official data, Medaram is recognized globally and this time public participation is expected to be around 1.3 crore. Necessary steps are also being taken to enrich the tribal culture and towards this, a tribal village is being established.
Further, to keep people motivated about the importance of sanitation, plans are in the pipeline to conduct a handwashing event involving 10 lakh people, and in the process make a world record. Volunteers and NGOs have been asked to support this endeavour.