Kolkata: Various schemes taken up by the Panchayat and Rural Development department have not only helped the Self-Help groups to become economically independent but also in conserving the environment.Subrata Mukherjee, state minister for Panchayat and Rural Development department will release eco-friendly pens at a function on Monday. The unique eco-friendly paper made pens have been manufactured by some women associated with a Self-Help group at Para in Purulia district. It may be mentioned that the state Panchayat and Rural Development department has earned appreciation from the Centre for running Self-Help groups and implementing 100 days work programme excellently in the rural areas. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe ball point pens will be priced anything between Rs 5 and Rs 15. They contain a plastic refill while the bodies are made of coloured papers with a beautiful look. The paper has been processed so that it can be carried like ordinary plastic-made ball point pens. The use of plastic in the pens is minimum as the state government is slowly trying to do away with the use of plastic. “Each pen contains seeds of Palas or Simul trees so that after using the pens one can sow the seeds and help in aforestation. The women associated with the Self-Help groups are doing excellent jobs and many of them are coming up with new ideas that are excellent,” said a senior official. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the fly ash made bricks manufactured by some women run Self-Help groups have become quite popular. The Panchayat and Rural Development department has opened eight brick kilns so far and the brick kilns are eco-friendly. All these Self-Help groups have become economically self-reliant. In Nadia, some women have become economically independent by doing pisci culture. The Panchayat and Rural Development department has dug up the water bodies and the state Fisheries department has given up the necessary training.