Other States

Modified kiln a boon for bangle makers in Rajasthan

Respite: Bangle makers working with a modified kiln in Bharatpur distict of Rajasthan.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Technology has come to the aid of workers engaged in manufacturing of green bangles in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.

The installation of a modified bangle kiln in Unch village, near Nadbai, has rescued them from toxic fumes which were earlier a major cause for respiratory diseases among them.

Labourers belonging to the Kachera clan have been manufacturing and selling green-coloured glass bangles for several decades in eastern Rajasthan, as women wear them as an important symbol on auspicious occasions and during rituals.

These workers have traditionally been fabricating kilns of mud and clay and using tudi, made of vestiges of mustard crop, as fuel for heating these furnaces. The oval-shaped kilns produce smoke and fumes in huge quantity as well as high flames caused by melting of glass.

Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation has taken an initiative for modernisation of conventional kilns with the assistance of the Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) at Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

The modified kiln does not allow emission of fumes and toxic gases and its firebricks protect workers despite the kiln’s temperature touching as high as 1,400 degree Celsius.

Poisonous elements emitted by the conventional kilns, on the other hand, directly enter into the bodies of labourers and cause diseases like asthma and tuberculosis, besides reducing their average age to less than 45 years.

Less fuel consumption

Lupin Foundation's Executive Director Sita Ram Gupta said on Monday that the modified kilns, with a high chimney for releasing fumes, would consume only 50% of the fuel used earlier and increase the bangle production twofold. With a comfortable seating arrangement for workers, their efficiency will also improve.

An earlier initiative for fabrication of modern bangle kilns with white clay in collaboration with the State government’s Science and Technology Department did not completely resolve the issue of emission of fumes. Scientists from RuTAG visited the district recently and suggested modifications in kilns after studying their operations.

The fabrication of modified kilns is likely to be taken up in a dozen other villages in the nearby tehsils. Mr. Gupta said it would have a favourable impact on the region's environment and promote the green bangles business in Unch village worth ₹2 crore every year, besides giving employment to more workers.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 3:57:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/modified-kiln-a-boon-for-bangle-makers-in-rajasthan/article21461550.ece

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