Himanshu Kaushik | TNN | Jun 5, 2018, 01:18 IST
“Not very long back, plastic bags could be found littered everywhere in Gir and Devaliya. We felt very bad as it gave very bad impression to the visitors, so when former deputy conservator of forest Ram Ratan Nala suggested that the villagers should come forward and do something to keep the area free of plastic, we decided to adopt a two-pronged approach,” said Nazmaben Juma Katiya, the sarpanch of Sasan village.
The idea was to keep the forest free of plastic waste and at the same time generate income for the 90-odd households in the last abode of the Asiatic lion. The members of the Mandal started providing cloth bags as an alternative to plastic bags to all shopkeepers at Rs 10 per bag. “Now, it has been made mandatory for the shopkeepers not to use plastic bags and at the same time, when a tourist asks for a bag, give them our cloth bag at Rs 10 per bag. The step has almost completely removed plastic bags from our area and has generated jobs for us,” added Nazmaben.