Green warrior from Kolkata set up the city’s first “zero-waste store” International Women’s Day

It is International Women’s Day, people call women the creator named after ‘Brahma’ well they absolutely are. From the moon to hilltop, from an equal vote to equal pay and from patriarchy to equal say in property, Women have achieved it on their own.
On contrary, Men have worked throughout as protectors. From looking after their families to thinking about the future, they have taken on this responsibility so well. On this Women’s Day, Let us take time to meet this protector who is busy shaping our ‘Green—Future’.
Women often complain that they remained stuck in the kitchen all their life and hence were not able to do anything. Lata drove her motivation from that very kitchen and the waste generated. She says, “In our houses Kitchen is the only place that generates 70% of the waste, mostly it is organic and can be converted into manure”
She added the other long-term waste could be plastic boxes used to keep lentils and other grains; she wanted to cut off that plastic from every kitchen.
Hailing from Kolkata she has grown up watching landfills full of plastic waste and stink. She always wished to cut short the amount of waste a family generates. She wanted to cure this problem at the very source. She had heard a lot about ‘Zero Waste Stores’ from across the country.
In 2017 Lata thought of opening a zero-waste store of her own. She started her organisation called Green Legion in May 2016. After taking a deep dive she found a pattern wherein the waster at the source itself can be cured or simply recycled. The foremost thing remained segregation which is largely been pushed by various governments and urban municipalities to cut the waste share at dumping sites.
After starting Green Legion, Lata began going around the city speaking to people in schools, colleges and other places teaching them about the reduction and recycling of waste. How we human beings could live a simpler and zero-waste life. She then began her journey of the same life she had been preaching to others — began segregating her waste, composting it at home, creating a terrace garden on her rooftop and eventually growing her vegetables and fruits.
She started teaching others how to make organic manure and shift towards ‘Kitchen Gardens’. But that was not sufficient she found that the commodities one buys from the store bring home a certain amount of plastic which in no way can be recycled. From there began the journey of ‘Zero Waste Store’.
She says, ‘we use a lot of things that need replacement from plastic combs, plastic straws, diapers, utensils to other plastic kinds of stuff’. She brings in steel straws, bamboo combs, reusable diapers, cloth sanitary napkins and groceries. She even recycled the materials generated from boutiques.
The incredible DIYs are stars at her stores. She found a perfect way to engage other women too with various self-help groups. She promotes young entrepreneurs in this section. An all-human chain, mostly women has taken this green step to shape a better future.
Their collective efforts not only generated a source of income but also gave them wings. From the doorsteps of the kitchen to their product in the market. Lata’s idea shaped many women’s lives.
Salute to our protectors. We are not only the creators we can be protectors too.
All thanks to Lata’s tireless efforts. Happy Women’s Day to all the women out there who are dreaming.

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