Biodegradable “Moorhen Yoga Mat” developed from “Water Hyacinth”

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.

Source: PIB


 

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