May 10, 2010 2:16:33 am
Nearly 15 to18 quintals of flowers,offered each day at the Ajmer Sherif Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti,used to be dumped in a well till date. Now,the flowers will not only be recycled,but will also help generate employment for local women.
With technical assistance from Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (CIMAP),Lucknow,the Dargah Committee is set to establish a rose water distillation plant on the outskirts of Ajmer.
The plant,which is to be established 8 kms away from the Dargah on the Ajmer-Jaipur road,will have two distillation machines with a capacity to process 125 kg of flower petals at a time and if run twice a day,the plant will produce around 400 litres of rosewater every day after distillation.
We wanted to recycle the flowers for better usage and provide livelihood to women of the area. In 2008,we approached the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and CIMAP with the idea, said Nazim Ahmad Raza,chief executive officer of the Dargah Committee,Dargah Khwaja Saheb.
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In January,CIMAP started a training programme for rosewater distillation funded by DBT for the women of Ajmer. Two small distillation machines,each with a capacity to process 15 kg of flowers at a time,was set up by CIMAP and around 270 women have been trained till now in rosewater distillation.
At least 600 women will be trained and will earn Rs 4,000 per month from this project. In the meeting,it was decided that the production has to be started at all costs on a large scale by July after the Urs festival, said Raza.
The distillation process takes around 5 hours and 4 to 5 quintal of rose petals will be processed in the large machines of the plant to produce 400 litres of rosewater every day, said Dr A K Singh,head of technology and business development at CIMAP.
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