Eco-Friendly Shoes Gifted By PM To Kashi-Vishwanath Priests Made From Himachal ‘Bhang’ Straw

| Updated : January 11, 2022, 5:11 pm
Updated : January 11, 2022, 5:11 pm

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SHIMLA: Cannabis may be banned in Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country but product made from it continue to find use in various forms — be it in medicines or other goods. Now, cannabis is being used to make shoes to be worn by priests and others at the famous Kashi-Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi.

The shoes prepared from ‘bhang’, as cannabis is called in local parlance, are being worn by the priests, people performing seva, security guards, sanitation workers and others as leather is strictly prohibited at Kashi-Vishwanath, also known as the Golden temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

As Varanasi is represented in the Lok Sabha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the VVIP himself is learnt to have procured 100 pairs of handmade shoes, actually made with cannabis straw, for the staff at the shrine, a refurbished version of which he inaugurated recently.

During his two-day visit to Varanasi last month, the Prime Minister is learnt to have noticed that most people working at the temple had been performing their duty barefoot even in biting cold. The PM had showered flower petals on workers who constructed the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor and later had lunch with them. The Prime Minister had showed keen interest in these jute shoes, called ‘puhlein’ in Himachali language, during an exhibition that preceded a rally that was organized in Mandi on December 26 to mark four years of the BJP-led state government.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is learnt to have subsequently sent 100 pairs of shoes to the PM’s residence in Delhi from where these were sent to the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor for the priests and the staff working there. Though the ‘puhlein’ are used almost in every part of Himachal, especially amid snow, those made from cannabis straw in Kullu and Mandi districts are considered quite strong as well as pure.

Costing anywhere from Rs 200 to Rs 700, these jute shoes are worn by priests inside temples in Mandi and Kullu. Himachali women even wear these inside their kitchens.

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