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To mark an Indian wedding, people waste tonnes of rice to shower newly-married couples as part of rituals. To check such wastage of rice, S.B. Harishchandra, Dean, Faculty of Business Studies at Master of Business Administration, Sharnbasva University, has come out with a new initiative even while preserving the sanctity of sentiments associated with marriage. Instead of tossing rice over newly-wed couples at weddings, he urged people to make use of his invention — paper rice.

Dr. Harishchandra, who came up with an idea of producing paper rice, explained that paper rice is made up of waste paper, cardboard and flowers. He collected waste paper and flowers that were then turned into smaller pieces to make liquid paste. Even straw, sugarcane, jute fibre can be used for producing paper rice. The liquid or paste is filled between rollers of a rotary die to produce rice seeds. It takes hardly an hour to prepare 10 kg of paper rice, but the seeds take a longer time to dry. He said that about one lakh weddings take place in India every year, and at least 10 kg of uncooked rice is wasted in every wedding; so around 10,000 quintals of rice are wasted in a year. According to a recent survey by the Union government, approximately 2.5 tonnes of rice are going waste every year in India as a part of the wedding culture, he added.

“It requires 1 kg of raw material to produce 5 kg of paper rice. We can produce 1 kg of paper rice in just ₹ 2 and the produce can be sold at ₹ 5 a kg. And, we are not using plastic for paper rice; hence, it is environment-friendly and free from any kind of toxic. It is non-hazardous to nature,” Dr. Harishchandra said.

“Instead of using rice for showering rituals, the same amount of rice can be used to feed the poor and the needy as the country is still grappling with poverty and hunger. A large population of the nation is undernourished and it dies due to hunger,” he said. Dr. Harishchandra has entered the India Book of Records for his innovative Paper Rice and also Herbal Drinking Water. He has been conferred with Academic Excellence Award 2019 by International Association of Research and Developed Organisation, Mumbai, and Young Scientist Award by International Association of Research and Development, Goa.

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