Udaipur : Smiling is infectious and if you gift it, it spreads like flu. Priya Sachdev, a 28 year old commerce graduate’s initiative too aims to bring smiles on the faces of hundreds of marginalised school children by giving them each, a ‘Bag of Smile’.
Priya and her team of 5 close friends collect discarded old jeans from homes and transform them to trendy attractive school bags for the needy children. Some 100 women have been engaged in bag stitching from the convenience of their homes. Their sewing machines have been fitted with motor to expedite the task. More than 400 bags have been distributed so far while a stock of 600 bags are ready to be given away.
“Bag of Smile’ is a registered NGO of ours which aims to work for 3 ‘E’s- Environment, Education and Employment. It takes thousands of liters of water to manufacture one jeans/denim pant. Jeans are hardy material that last for long and so even if the cloth gets out of use,it can be recycled for varied purposes” Priya said. The collected jeans are transported to the lady tailors who stitch them into trendy bags.
“For a set of 10 bags, the workers are paid five to six hundred rupees each. Since the initiative was started in January, the ladies were able to generate income for their families even during the trying times of lockdown” Priya said. The team also works for brand collaboration by approaching organisations, clubs and donors by offering them the bags at reasonable prices so as to be gifted to needy children.
“One can purchase the bags from us for 100 rupee/per peice which also has a pencil case with it. The profit would be given to the workers while the volunteers are given the conveyance charges only” she said. The NGO next, proposes to prepare vegetable and grocery bags for household usage. “The bags too would be made of jeans which are durable and washable having different slots for different veggies. Similarly,it may be used for purchasing groceries too every month. Once in use, people would not use polythene bags which are dangerous for the environment” she said.