BHOPAL: A group of women, whose husbands lost their low-paying jobs during the Covid-induced lockdown, have got together to make eco-friendly ‘Gobar Rakhis’ to earn their livelihood.
The group of around 12 women has produced 1,000 Rakhis to begin with. They have set up their stall at a fair organised by MP Handlooms and Handicrafts Development Corporation in the city.
The Rakhis are made with a mixture of powdered cow dung cakes, soil, tamarind seeds and bel fruit. This mixture is made into a paste, which is poured into moulds and left to dry for three days. Next they are dipped into a Fevicol solution and given a coat of furniture polish. Threads are then attached to the Rakhis. The entire process takes three to four days.
Pushpa Rathore, 39, whose husband is managing the stall on behalf of the group says, “This venture has helped us survive in these difficult times,” Pushpa’s husband used to work in a private hospital.
Rathore, who is a graduate in fine arts, says that such products will help people turn away from Chinese Rakhis. The buyers of these Rakhis will be indirectly contributing to Gau Raksha, she says.
Rathore says that during the lockdown while browsing the Net she happened to learn about a Nagpur-based research centre having developed a technique for producing Rakhis using Gobar. “I contacted them and they sent me moulds and other necessary materials and literature,” shesays.
Similarly, Preeti, 30, whose husband had lost his job in a local factory, is also one of the members of the group. “We went through very difficult times. This work has ensured that at least we can have two square meals a day,” she says.
Besides Rakhis, they have also made some other Gobar products, including nine-inch Ganesh idols, which they call ‘Gobar Ganesh’, photo frames, earthen lamps, mirrors, torans etc. Enthused by the brisk sales, they plan to widen their product range and increase production.
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