What is the News?
Six young girls from Assam have developed a biodegradable and compostable yoga mat called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’.
Note: The Mat was developed with the support of the North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach(NECTAR). NECTAR is an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology(DST).
About Moorhen Yoga Mat:
- Firstly, the ‘Moorhen Yoga mat’ is named after Kam Sorai or Purple moorhen (a resident bird of Deepor Beel Wildlife sanctuary).
- Secondly, the mat has been developed from Water Hyacinth. The mat is 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable mat.
- Thirdly, the mat comes in a cotton canvas cloth bag. So that no zip or metal closures are used.
- Benefits of the Mat: The Moorhen Yoga mat has the following benefits:
- The Mat can improve the aquatic ecosystem of the wetland through the removal of water hyacinth
- It can provide sustainable production of utility products with community engagement
- The mat can generate livelihood for indigenous communities to become completely ‘Atma Nirbhar’.
About Water Hyacinth:
- Water hyacinth is a free-floating and flowering invasive aquatic plant that originated from Amazon Basin, South America.
Why is Water Hyacinth considered invasive?
- It grows rapidly and can form thick layers over the water. So Water hyacinth is considered invasive throughout the world.
- These mats shade out the other aquatic plants. Eventually, these shaded plants die and decay.
- The decaying process depletes the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels decline, many fish are unable to survive.
- Hence, often the waters below water hyacinth masses witness the absence of life.
Other Effects of Water Hyacinth:
- Water Hyacinth interferes with boat navigation and prevents fishing, swimming and other recreational activities.
- The water hyacinth may also clog intake pipes used for drinking water, hydropower or irrigation.
- Moreover, it creates a prime habitat for mosquitoes that carry a variety of infectious diseases. So, water hyacinth is also considered a serious threat to biodiversity and human health.
Water Hyacinth in India:
- States like Assam and Kerala are highly affected by the Water Hyacinth.
- Water Hyacinth is also referred to as the Bengal terror. This is because of its effect on the local ecology and lives of the people.