PATACHARKUCHI, July 7 - People inhabiting remote villages under Bajali subdivision in Barpeta district now-a-days prefer to carry grocery items along with other goods from shops in paper bags, and refrain from using polythene pouches.
Belona may otherwise be a nondescript hamlet, but has nevertheless managed to stand out as a shining example of polythene�free village as the inmates have chosen to lead by example.
A self-help group named Maa Durga has even started producing paper bags in the village and has arranged to distribute them within and even outside the village in an effort to make the greater area pollution�free.
Belona is perhaps the only village in Assam that has showed the unique example of chasing a dream of a pollution� free village. The concept struck roots a few months back under the initiative of Ananda Khataniar, the newly-appointed Brand Ambassador of the State�s Forest and Environment Department.
He organised a number of meetings in the village in order to generate awareness among the ruralites. Soon, people offered spontaneous support in order to make the village green and plastic-free.
During the recent World Environment Day, the villagers promised to rally behind Ananda Khataniar�s initiative. Jitu Roy of the locality informed this Correspondent that one SHG had already started making paper bags, and two other SHGs have also resolved to make paper carry bags so that people change their earlier habit and discard polythene bags altogether.
He also informed that the village which has around 300 families planted at least one sapling on World Environment Day. The families today place dustbins in front of their houses too.
Officials of myGovAssam have already visited the village and praised the collective efforts of the local people. Ananda Khataniar informed that he has already selected some more villages, like one in Na-Satra in Sarthebari area of Barpeta district and one each in Bongaigaon district and Nalbari, in order to convert them into plastic�free villages.