Every year, around 8 million tonnes of waste flowers are dumped into River Ganges. With an aim to turn floral waste into alternative organic resources, Karan Rastogi founded Help Us Green.
Established in 2015, HelpUsGreen aims to make religion sustainable, providing new world ecological solutions to ancient beliefs and tradition. As a self-sustaining social enterprise, Help Us Green works at recycling over 2.5 tonnes of religious waste every day into organic fertilisers, incense and colours. With over 53,000 metric tonnes of temple waste recycled under their belt, the enterprise has successfully created sustainable living and income for the communities they operate in.
"The problem goes beyond mere pollution. The Ganges is also the primary source of water for over 400 million Indians who live along the banks. Pesticides and chemical residues from these offerings are lethal and pose a health hazard for this significant population. Another concern is that such pollution is responsible for over 80 percent of child mortality in the country. Not to mention the impact it has on the millions of devotees who throng to the Ganges to offer their prayers or take a dip in the holy waters," adds Rastogi.
The enterprise faced its fair share of challenges while conveying its idea of recycling religious waste. To get stakeholders on board took well over a year. While the journey definitely was uphill, Help Us Green is now focusing on creating holistic change, using waste as a resource to create organic lifestyle products, such as incense sticks, colours, vegan leather and other organic alternatives to present lifestyle needs.
"I learnt empathy with HelpUsGreen. The simple act of giving back meaningfully to the community we live in, allows for a deep understanding of resources and challenges, instilling a sense of sensitivity towards the world we live in," concludes Rastogi.
What Made Rastogi a Face of Vibrant Bharat?
“Any business which aims to improve our planet is a good business, Help Us Green has found a niche in a noble cause and is well poised to make the rivers of India clean and our religious beliefs sustainable, and is doing its bit to give the earth back to our children,” Rahul Kapur, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat.
"Before the whole rallying around clean rivers of India, Help Us Green started its journey by recycling temple waste into organic lifestyle products along India's most sacred river, The Ganges. The company is an excellent case study on how sustainable actions can make even religion ecologically friendly, and thus create a circular economy in the process." Aman Dhall, Founder, CommsCredible.