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FeaturesLight a patakha, get a plant

Light a patakha, get a plant

Published: 11th Nov 2020 6:55 pm

Have you been trying to go eco-friendly every Diwali but find it hard to resist bursting crackers? It is a ritual for many of us since our childhood to meet friends and extended family and fire up some phool jadis. But, what if I told you there are crackers — flower pots, ladi, hydrogen bombs, naagin (snake) bombs, rockets and chakkars — that turn into plants? Beej Patakha is an eco-friendly, exploitation-free and meaningful alternative to your regular firecrackers.

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Handmade by rural women, artisans and farmers from waste paper and recycled materials, these pollution-free crackers are embedded with live seeds. All you have to do is sow, water and watch the crackers hatch into beautiful plants.An initiative by the company 21Fools, it is currently getting attention from all over the country. Divyanshu, Founder and CEO of 21Fools, says, “We got the idea from our last initiative, Seed Rakhis for Raksha Bandhan in August. We are not telling people to not celebrate Diwali or to stop bursting crackers.


As there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to Diwali, we thought of giving people who are interested an option to go eco-friendly. We even made the designs of the crackers interesting. We would love to keep including the idea of sowing seeds for every festival.”

The ladi has seeds such as mustard, fenugreek, spinach and amaranthus, the hydrogen bomb has roselle seeds, while the rocket has cucumber and green sorrel seeds. It was in 2014 that Divyanshu introduced ‘Beej Kapas’, a paper that grows into a plant in India for the first time. Since then 21Fools has handcrafted millions of products that grew into millions of plants. “A friend and I had started 21Fools back in 2012.

We were initially a magazine and then an online portal that sold greeting cards. My friend eventually quit as we didn’t make any progress, but I stayed. I started making sustainable products after I realized how much paper I was wasting without knowing,” shares Divyanshu, who is an engineer from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE).

Apart from crackers and rakhis, they also make plantable calendars, stationary such as envelopes, journals and even cotton face masks and bags. “We are getting into blue pottery as well. We are planning to connect with the craftsman community in a small village in Jaipur and make new products from the sustainable material that they use. There are other exciting things,” shares Divyanshu, who is also passionate about filmmaking, writing and chai.

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