Deepor Beel

  • Various initiatives have been launched by the local population in order to save the dying Deepor Beel.
About Deepor Beel:
  • It is one of the critical wetlands of the Brahmaputra Valley in lower Assam and the state’s lone Ramsar site (declared in 2002), besides being a significant area for resident and migratory birds.
  • It has also been a patch for the elephant movement for ages and the 4.14 square kilometre area of the beel has been declared a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Threat: Despite being a wetland protected by law, it is subjected to several anthropogenic threats, including that from a railway track that runs parallel to the wetland and a waste yard in its periphery.
  • Simang is a collective initiative by six women under which they have successfully transformed the invasive weed, water hyacinths into beautiful artefacts and yoga mats.
    • Water hyacinths can rapidly multiply within a week, making it a persistent problem for the ecosystem.
  • Initiative has provided employment to 38 women from the community.
  • During COVID-19 pandemic, Simang was able to provide a livelihood to its employees who process raw materials from the Deepor Beel and weave the products in their own handloom.
Kumbhi Kagaz:
  • It focuses on ecologically restoring Deepor Beel while simultaneously creating alternative livelihoods for the locals of Keotpara.
  • The initiative converts water hyacinths into 100 per cent biodegradable, chemical-free handmade papers. 
  • Kumbhi Kagaz efforts have significantly improved the growth of makhana (prickly water lily) in the wetland, which has high commercial value.
News Source: DTE

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