The festive season is here, and the clarion call for ‘vocal for local’ and ‘aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is growing louder by the day. Ever since Covid-19 broke out in March, there has been an increased consciousness towards the adoption of homegrown products, especially made by hand.
In line with this theme, Diwali in 2020 is all about promoting the manufacture and sales of eco-friendly diyas and lanterns made by rural women artisans.
Women artisans all over the country have come together to showcase their exquisite craftsmanship. In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, women of a self-help group are making low-cost eco-friendly diyas and lanterns from cow dung. These women told the media, “We wanted to become ‘aatmanirbhar’ following PM Modi’s appeal. So we started making low-cost cow dung diyas for everyone.”
Madhya Pradesh: Women of a self-help group in Bhopal are making low-cost & eco-friendly earthen lamps (diyas) from cow dung ahead of #Diwali.
"We wanted to become #AatmaNirbhar following PM Modi's appeal. So we started making low-cost cow dung diyas for everyone," says a woman. pic.twitter.com/8e7Bfg3HJ9
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2020
Another self-help group in Raipur in Chhattisgarh have already made 17-18k diyas. These women are taking the eco-friendly movement quite seriously, and have also made 400-500 kg of vermi-compost and cow dung cakes for sale.
Rural women from Bhagohar village of Wazirganj district in Uttar Pradesh, have also been working hard to make lamps and sculptures from dung. They are conscious of keeping the environment clean and green, and do not use any potentially unsafe materials.
Sakshi Mahila, an NGO from Gorakhpur, has been engaged in creating idols and earthen lamps from cow dung. The women deployed by this social organisation have been trained in this craft. Lately, the demand for these products has grown exponentially amid the chants for ‘boycott China’, and greater acceptance for made-in-India products.
In Gurugram, a suburb on the outskirts of national capital Delhi, an NGO called Action Centre for Transformation is providing alternative livelihood for rural women by upcycling waste materials to make eco-friendly products for the festive season. Currently, 250 women from rural areas like Bhondsi and Badshahpur villages in Haryana are learning to recycle paper to make eco-friendly candles, paper door strings, light strings, and eco-friendly gift boxes.
Women in northeastern India have also come up with innovative ideas to make decorative and eco-friendly pieces this Diwali. In Agartala, a group of 20-25 women are working hard to make 1-1.5 quintiles of colourful candles every day ahead of Diwali.
Tripura: A group of women in Agartala are making candles with hopes that their business will revive this #Diwali.
One of them says, "There is a huge demand for candles ahead of Diwali, we hope to sell all our products. We are giving extra time to fulfil customer's demand." pic.twitter.com/rJ6sBLQPPH
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2020
This candle manufacturing unit was established by Sudhan Banerjee, who started it 30 years ago in Joynagar area, employing local women as workers. A worker told the media, “There is a huge demand for candles ahead of Diwali, we hope to sell all our products. We are giving extra time to fulfil the customers’ demand.”
(Edited by Varnika Gupta)