Seed pens replace plastic and provide livelihood to disabled villagers in India

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In Kerala, a business set up to produce seed-conveying biodegradable pens is also providing employment to people living with disabilities.

“My pen replaces plastic and sprouts plants across my village,” S. V. Ajikumar, who is confined to a wheelchair, tells The News Minute. “It also provides a livelihood to many disabled people like me.”Made from paper, the pens’ core carries seeds such as cowpea, spinach, and okra.

Local farmer N. M. Shaji, Kalpetta Service Cooperative Bank, and an organization run by Lakshmi Menon for livelihood issues are among the agencies promoting production. “Making seed pens is the best job opportunity for us, since there is no need to commute,” said Ajikumar.

It takes about four minutes to make a pen, which are sold for Rs 10‑Rs 15. “Believe it or not, today I can live solely making seed pens,” he added. The pens are particularly popular with those seeing to promote conferences, political parties, and trade unions.