Kadalekayi Parishe is a popular event that has been taking place in Bangalore for many years. This Parishe is a Fair where one gets to buy a variety of kadalekayi (peanut) and even gets a chance to taste these nuts before buying. This event brings together people from various sections of society to come together for the love of the kadalekayi.
This age-old tradition of parishe, first started in Basavanagudi, a neighbourhood in Bangalore, in the year 1537 AD. It has its own story and a purpose behind its origin. History says every year in the past, groundnut crops used to get damaged by a raging bull that would attack the farms ready for harvest. To protect their harvest, farmers prayed to Basava (Nandi), the mount (vahana) of the Hindu God Shiva and offered their first crop to the Lord.
While this festival has been relished by many people through the years, it has also caused a lot of environmental damage and pollution due to the usage of plastic bags for carrying the kadalekayi.. The sellers as well as the buyers use plastic bags for buying/selling the kadalekayi which is one of the main concerns to the environment. This year, efforts have been made by a particular group called the ‘ZERO WASTE COLLECTIVE’ to reduce plastic production.
The ZERO WASTE COLLECTIVE is a small group of people who are working towards achieving a Green Bangalore. They first started this initiative with the Independence Day flower show in Lalbagh. They urged everyone to use cloth bags instead of plastic bags to buy and sell flowers. After seeing a positive response from both the sellers as well as the customers, this group planned to extend their initiatives to all the events in Bangalore. Hence, under this objective, they tried to make the Kadalekayi Parishe – a major event in Bangalore – a green one.
Mr Raj, a member of this group said that seeing all the plastic that was being generated in this parishe, the group wanted to eliminate the use of plastic and bring environment-friendly cloth bags. They convinced the farmers and sellers to use cloth bags instead of plastic bags to sell the kadalekai. Of course, it took them a long time to convince the farmers but they did eventually.
The group took the help of the local body, the BBMP as well. They informed the farmers about the damages caused by plastic bags to make them aware of the impacts of plastic on the environment. To help farmers get the cloth bags, the group started urging people to donate waste clothes and old sarees, curtains, etc to stitch bags for everyone. They initiated the drive, through posters on Social Media.
This wonderful project was a surprise to many customers as well, and was also a motivation to the customers using plastic bags, as it made them feel that if farmers themselves carried cloth bags, why couldn’t they?
During the parishe this year held between Dec. 9 and 11, 2023, the response was positive and the amount of general plastic production this year was 60% less than that the previous years, says Mr. Raj, who feels proud of this initiative.
“The ZERO WASTE COLLECTIVE group successfully reduced the plastic generation at a very low cost as well as it was a collective group effort”, humbly puts Mr. Raj.
He has plans to slowly eliminate plastic from the entire city by raising awareness to larger companies as well. The group’s present aim is to initiate the use of cloth bags in the flower show in Lalbagh during the Republic Day celebrations as well.
After the successful implementation of its plan, the team is now confident that with collective efforts, any place can be made a greener, cleaner place. Mr. Raj and his team have tasted success already now, the city of Bangalore has built a hope to eliminate the use of plastic from this bubbly, busy city.
Maitreyi Aravindan lives in the garden city of India, Bangalore. She is a very passionate animal lover. Loves reading and writing poems and blogs. She is also a budding Classical dancer and singer. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, cooking, travelling. She likes to be associated with nature and animals in her daily life, in some way.