Odisha Sarpanch opens ‘Bartan Bank’ to fight plastic menace

Bhubaneswar: Months after using a drone to deliver pensions to beneficiaries residing in remote hamlets, a woman Sarpanch in Nuapada district of Odisha has adopted a novel way to fight the plastic menace.

Saroj Devi Agrawal, the Sarpanch of Bhaleshwar panchayat under Nuapada Sadar block, has opened a ‘Bartan Bank’ to supply utensils to villagers to organize community feasts during social functions.

Agrawal has purchased several pieces of utensils including vessels, pots, buckets, plates and spoons by spending around Rs 75,000 from the village funds. She has opened the utensil bank after holding discussions with the villagers, sources said.

Villagers can collect utensils from the Bartan Bank free of cost and return the same soon after holding community feasts. However, the villagers will have to bear the cost if there is any damage to the utensils during the social functions, sources added.

“The villagers were earlier using plastic plates and other items during social functions. The plastic wastes have emerged as a major threat to our environment. Our Sarpanch has opened a Bartan Bank to fight the plastic menace. The very motive of this initiative is to check the use of plastic in our locality,” said Prem Agrawal, a local.

Sarpanch Saroj Devi Agrawal said she has opened Bartan Bank in one among the nine villages under Bhaleshwar panchayat. Steps will be taken to open similar banks in the remaining eight villages within six months, she added.

“We have opened the Bartan Bank to create awareness among the people regarding the harmful impact of plastic waste. We have set a target to make our panchayat a plastic-free place,” she added.

Notably, Saroj Devi Agrawal had grabbed the headlines for using a drone to deliver disability pensions among beneficiaries residing in remote hamlets of Bhaleshwar panchayat in February this year.

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