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Four centres set up in Nadia to promote Vetiver handicrafts

Kolkata: The state government has set up four centres in Nadia to promote handicraft items made of Vetiver grass.
Two centres have come up at Nakashipara, with one each at Tehatta and Krishnanagar. Attempts are on to open a centre at Ranaghat.
Senior state government officials said handicraft items made of Vetiver have a high demand and in many government and private establishments, business centres and housing complexes, they are being used as items of room decoration.
Also, Vetiver table mats, door mats and table decorations are in high demand. Most of the artisans are women and they have formed self-help groups (SHG)s to run the centres. They are given designs by the district officials and now steps have been taken to send the items to other states.
The state government has taken up a unique initiative to prevent soil erosion along the banks of six rivers in Nadia by planting Vetiver grass. The rivers are Churni, Mathabhanga, Jalangi, Ichamati, Padma and Bhagirathi.
The grass will be planted along 743 kilometers of river bank, of which plantation in over 300 kilometers has been completed already. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has named the project Sabujayan.
Originally, Vetiver grass was brought from South India. But as it became costly, later over 70 nurseries have been set up to grow the grass. Vetiver experts from South India and abroad have visited the nurseries and expressed satisfaction over their functioning. The farmers have been given adequate training.
Taking cue from the success of Vetiver plantation in Nadia, the grass is being planted to prevent soil erosion in East Midnapore as well. Senior officials from Nadia have gone to East Midnapore and workshops are being held to give them training.
If successful, the state government will plant Vetiver along the banks of all major rivers in the state, to prevent soil erosion.

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