Ketaki Tyagi and Shruti Sood, students of Science and Social Science, have started an initiative to educate farmers on how the traditional practice of stubble burning is degrading the environment at an alarming rate and encourage them to use 'Happy Seeders'.
Happy Seeder is a machine that performs the stubble mulching and seed drilling functions at the same time, saving time and preventing damage through air pollution. However, the reason behind not many farmers using the machine is its cost -- about Rs 1.7 lakh per machine.
Tyagi and Sood have donated a few Happy Seeders to a village in North India as a pilot project in order to demonstrate how this investment is immensely beneficial for the environment. The two are also urging others to join the initiative in raising funds to buy more Happy Seeders to make an impact.
"We would like to help educate as many farmers as we can in order to make even the slightest change," they said, as quoted by online crowdfunding platform Ketto.
"We believe that if we can give back to our community even in a minuscule manner, it counts towards the larger goal of sustainable development," they added.
The two also list the benefits of Happy Seeders as follows:
While the Punjab Pollution Control Board had banned stubble burning, the order was hardly taken seriously. As a result, India's capital Delhi, which faces air pollution at an alarming rate, last year had found itself blanketed by a thick layer of smog, leading to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal asking authorities to close schools.
Last year, 21,041 incidents of stubble burning were reported till November in Punjab and Haryana.
First Published: IST