Himachal to set up 100 plastic free cafes

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Shimla :The Himachal Pradesh government plans setting up around 100 Swachhta cafes at a cost of Rs 10 crore by the year 2023. Ten such cafes will come up at important locations at an estimated cost of rupees one crore with a target to collect 25 tonnes of single use plastic by end of this financial year .

The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar said today the government had launched a mega public outreach programme called “Swachta Café” under which plastic wastes will be purchased from the ragpickers, individuals collecting waste from households and urban local bodies at Rs 75 per kg in  exchange for food or other eatable items  to  motivate  the ragpickers and individuals  to keep their surroundings clean.

A Swachhta cafe will be constructed under “Village Haat Scheme” where women will also be facilitated to sell medicinal plants, such as giloye, peppermint, neem leaf powder and homemade pickles, murabba, wheat flour, pulses, spices and vegetables  at reasonable prices.

The swachhta cafe scheme has been launched to provide effective means of livelihood to the rural poor women of the region.  The women running the Swachhta Cafe will be given training in the hospitality sector to enable them to cook popular traditional delicious cuisines.

A target has been fixed to train around 5,000 women belonging to self-help groups in the next three years in the hospitality sector to run these cafe on professional lines to make them economically viable and to generate interest of local clientele to make the scheme successful.

The first Swachhta Café was inaugurated at Gram Panchayat Radiali in Nalagarh area in Solan district which is to be run by women self-help groups and another cafe would be opened at Naggar in Kullu district.