Two birds with one stone: Livelihood to women and phasing out plastic
NDMC To Sell Eco-Friendly Alternatives At Three ‘Saksham’ Outlets
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.
People can get bags or other useful items stitched out of their old clothes at Saksham Eco Mart for just 10-15