August 18, 2021: When global warming is a cause of grave concern, Odisha women have become environmentally conscious too. Odisha SHGs make eco-friendly rakhis this year to celebrate the festival and to honour their commitment to the environment.
Odisha SHGs make eco-friendly rakhis
Nearly 2,000 Odisha SHGs make eco-friendly rakhis this year. These eco-friendly rakhis have been made by women from different SHGs (Self Help Groups) in the districts of Khordha, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Mayurbahnj, and Keonjhar for the festival to raise awareness for a pollution-free environment.
Odisha SHGs make eco-friendly rakhis, sabai grass & bamboo used
The Odisha SHGs make eco-friendly rakhis using clay, sabai grass and bamboo.
Also, golden grass, scrap paper, bamboo, various pulses, coconut shells, and other organic materials are being used by these women to make these special rakhis. Hailing from poor background, this initiative has helped them to earn a living.
The rakhis are made out of terracotta sabai grass and other organic materials and is priced somewhere between ₹20-₹50.
During the making, the SHGs members follow Covid-19 protocols and social distancing rules.
Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society is supporting the idea (ORMAS).
ORMAS members’ reaction
ORMAS member Pranab Panda informed that a similar campaign was initiated last year too. “This campaign began last year, when COVID-19 was in effect and there was a lockdown in place. With the aid of Mission Shakti SHGs, we began making locally manufactured rakhis. We have 18 stalls put up across Odisha. The products range in price from Rs 20 to Rs 50. Around 2,000 women, especially from rural areas, are members of SHGs, which serve to provide a source of income,”he said.
SHG worker Rajlaxmi is looking at a positive response this year too. “In light of COVID, we took all necessary precautions. We had a terrific reaction last year because of the reduced selling prices. This year, we’re looking for more of the same,” she said.