The wild Snake Plant (sansevieria trifasciata) developed as an alternate source of fiber by a Class VIII student of Dhekiajuli town in Assam’s Sonitpur district has been able to draw attention of common masses and educationists particularly the botanical research persons.
Hiranyaraj Sharma studying in Class VIII in Polestar Academy of Singri area in Dhekiajuli Town conducted a research activity under the guidance of assistant teacher of Dhekiajuli High School Sailendra Sharma to understand that the plant which locally popular as ‘khoru gumoni gos’ has enough utility.
It is worthmentiong that Snake Plant is a wild evergreen perennial plant which is locally available in the Northeast climate, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome.
It is a common weed of roadsides, abandoned gardens and waste areas.
It’s leaves are thick in nature and mature leaves are dark green in colour usually ranging from 60–to 160 centimeters long and 6–to 10 centimeter wide.
Hiranyaraj who will represent the state level National Children’s Science Congress, 2019 to be held at the Jawahar Navudaya Vidylaya Domdooma in Tinsukia District from November 1 to 4 next with a model on decomposition of the plant to make fiber said before this correspondent that his project is among the nine selected projects from the Sonitpur District to participate in the upcoming event.
The conventional biodegradable fiber of Jute, Mesta, Cotton etc. are playing their role but still a viable alternative is the need of the hour.
The student undertook the project to study Snake Plant fiber and to explore its potentialities to be used as a substitute/supplement to the conventional fibers and also to protect and preserve the traditional knowledge and to scientifically testify these ideas.
Stating the process of producing fiber from snake plant Hiranya said that the fiber is extracted by way of two retting medium i.e pure water retting and Cow urine retting.
“The result of cow urine retting process is more efficient which requires less number of days,” he said.
“In order to have a comparative estimate of the strength of the fiber, the bearing point and the breaking point of jute fiber and snake plant fiber were measured manually by using weighing machine and found that the snake plant fiber is stronger than that of the jute fiber,” he added.
He said adding study says that environmental pollution by the use of non-biodegradable plastic/synthetic bags and pouches has been a menace in the present day world.
The time has now come to discard the use of single use plastic/synthetic material in favour of a healthy environment. Bio-fiber based multi-purpose bags are much talked about as a replacement to these plastic/synthetic bags.
The bio-fiber can play a great role towards replacement of plastic bags and supplement the conventional bio-fiber based multiuse bags.
However, due to the lack of proper knowledge on possible benefit of the snake plant, it is yet to gain attention from public and hence is cleaned away from their fields for other known cultivation.
This may lead to further ignorance and eventually will extinct from the mother Earth.
A survey was conducted about the Plant among the farmers where it was found that about 97.64 per cent people has no knowledge about its usefulness.
But if awareness is created among the people snake plant could be used for yielding eco-friendly fiber developing retting technology, producing goods of daily use with different design can be made.
Hiranya is of the opinion that if the agricultural department comes forward with a research base thinking snake plant can be a major option for materializing the Narendra Modi’s dream of building a plastic free environment.