Two birds with one stone: Liveli­hood to women and phas­ing out plas­tic

NDMC To Sell Eco-Friendly Al­ter­na­tives At Three ‘Sak­sham’ Out­lets

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Vibha.Sharma @times­

New Delhi: How do you save the en­vi­ron­ment from plas­tic waste as well as em­power women by help­ing them earn a liv­ing? New Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil (NDMC) seems to have cracked the code by launch­ing the Sak­sham Eco Mart at Kau­tilya Marg in Lu­tyens’ Delhi on Wed­nes­day.

Un­der this ini­tia­tive, al­ter­na­tives to plas­tic bags are be­ing pro­vided in the form of cloth and jute bags. The all-women teams will also be pre­par­ing and sell­ing boxes, wooden plates, bowls and other prod­ucts made with eco-friendly ma­te­ri­als at min­i­mal prices at three Sak­sham out­lets. While the one at Kau­tilya Marg has al­ready been opened, the other two at Jai Shankar Road and Niti Marg are ex

GO GREEN: pected to start by next week.

More­over, peo­ple can come with their old clothes and get bags or other use­ful items stitched out of them for just Rs 10-15.

The rel­e­vance of launch­ing this ini­tia­tive on Gandhi Jayanti is closely linked to Ma­hatma Gandhi’s stay in Har­i­jan Basti at Mandir Marg for 214 days be­tween April 1946 and June 1947, an of­fi­cial said. Dur­ing this pe­riod, Gandhi in­tro­duced spin­ning of the charkha in Delhi and wom­en­folk in Chandni Chowk adopted it as a swadeshi move­ment as well as a source of liveli­hood. “We have de­cided to take his legacy ahead,” the of­fi­cial added.

The unique part of the ini­tia­tive is that the prod­ucts be­ing sold at the stores have been pre­pared by women who have learnt to make them at NDMC’s craft cen­tres by pay­ing just Rs 20 as fees. The other craftsper­sons in­clude stu­dents of Women’s Train­ing In­sti­tute and NGOs.

“All the three stores will be man­aged by women and the sales pro­ceeds will be used for the wel­fare of those as­so­ci­ated with Sak­sham Eco Mart. NDMC must scale up this ini­tia­tive so that the mes­sage of dis­card­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic reaches ev­ery house­hold,” said Vi­jay Ku­mar Dev, chief sec­re­tary, Delhi gov­ern­ment.

NDMC sec­re­tary Rashmi Singh said that since the prod­ucts, es­pe­cially cloth bags, are avail­able at rea­son­able rates, peo­ple can buy them for day-to-day use and con­trib­ute to­wards re­duc­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion. “They can also place or­ders with the women craftsper­sons,” she added.

To make the con­cept pop­u­lar among the masses, NDMC plans to dis­play tem­po­rary stalls of Sak­sham at prom­i­nent places that get max­i­mum foot­fall, in­clud­ing In­dia Gate lawn num­ber 6 where the prod­ucts will be on dis­play till the week­end.

Sangeeta Sharma, a teacher at NDMC craft cen­tre, said that the de­mand for bags has gone up with the launch of the “say no to plas­tic” drive. “At In­dia Gate, we sold 20 bags within an hour. The craft cen­tre stu­dents also had their sewing ma­chines ready to in­stantly make bags out of old clothes,” she added.

Ra­jesh Me­hta

Peo­ple can get bags or other use­ful items stitched out of their old clothes at Sak­sham Eco Mart for just 10-15

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