It is pretty vivid that SEVA has established itself as an organization that believes in something more profound than charity, something more perpetual and helpful which is self reliance.
Self reliance and self dependence, these terms solely define the purpose of our NGO which is to help the tribal community of SGNP earn for themselves instead of merely relying on donations and thus lead a life full of contentment, pride and independence.
As a volunteer in SEVA and having been working for this trust for some time, I have gained an insight of how the handmade products claim their authenticity and quality in regards of conserving the environment and wildlife. One of our products which successfully brings in the sales is the delightful Handmade Lights made by the women residing in SANJAY GANDHI NATIONAL PARK.
I would be elated to share a glimpse of the process of how these lights are made without any dependency on machines, artificial colours and scarce resources of nature. The steps which fulfill the entire process are as follows:
1) Collection of bottles:
Biccho is one of our helpers who works actively in order to collect all the plastic found in sgnp premises. Driver by occupation,he owns a tourist car in National Park
SGNP strictly prohibits tossing any sort of plastic material such as bottles, bags, wrappers etc in its premises therefore any visitor found carrying plastic along with themselve is required to deposit a certain amount till they are using it and is returned the deposited sum as soon as they dispose their waste in green bin. Biccho segregates the bottles found according to the varying sizes that is small, medium and large.
In order to recycle, smaller bottles are used for making lights while larger bottles are turned into another medium for feeding birds.
2) Transportation of the bottles:
Govinda, a fellow resident of Sanjay Gandhi National Park plays one of the most important role in the production process.
He carries the bottles in his car, from the godown, and hands them over to the pada’s. It his duty to timely deliver the right bottles and other material such as jute ropes, adhesives to the right persons and artisans. His car is a very useful asset, as it isn’t practical or easy to transport the raw materials and the finished products via bike.
Apart from this,the responsibility of delivering the end products, early in the morning at the National Parks main gate lies on his shoulders.
3)Process of Cutting Bottles and Dyeing Jute:
As soon as the collected bottles reach the artisans of our community along with the jute, they are cut into two parts, the upper one is used for lights while the lower one for other daily accessories eg pen-stand, holder etc. While the jute threads are dyed into beautiful range of colours mainly red,green and white as the prepared items are put on sale for festive seasons such as Christmas. Corporates like ROMELL have purchased them delightfully. The next process of Covering/Decoration starts after the dyed jute dries up after 24 hours.
After finishing with the process of cutting and dyeing the bottles+jute, begins another joyful process of decorating.
The lights in the bottles are accentuated under to two colours, the colour used to dye and natural brown colour. Once the bottles are decorated, they undergo the process of drying for final time in order to settle the gum used to stick the jute with bottles. Before being dispatched to the other department,the bottles are also drilled on the top to make a way for the lights installation.
This process reaches another level of difficulty as it requires the most effort.The wire comprising approximately 60-70 tiny bulbs is divided into ten pieces for each furnished bottle. Each sub-wire among the ten pieces contains 7-8 bulb where every alternate bulb in a wire gives brighter light which can clearly penetrate the bottle.
Another section comprises fitting or installing these lights/wires in the bottle which can be done only by the most adroit artisans.
The wires have to installed as such that they do not get tangled by the user and as this process is finished,it is followed by sending the bottle-lights for the exhibition.
Exhibition is handled by some women of the ‘pada’ or villages. These young women are mostly college students and are given this opportunity so to provide them with perfect exposure, especially in the fields they haven’t explored. Having been brought up in rural areas where people are not updated with the ongoing progress in technicality, urban economy and lifestyle, managing an exhibition and being introduced to city life is a small yet impactful progress for these women itself. They explore the fields they can work in and this motivates them to establish something for themselves. These exhibitions are thoroughly enjoyed by these women and also add benefits to their work.
With this concludes the process of making of these bottles which are purely handmade, produced from recycled plastic, and manifest the innovation put in by the people of tribal communities of SGNP. Each set of handmade lights for a variety of prices which may vary according to their sizes. The profits driven in help the people behind the making of lights earn a stable income.
We encourage everyone to purchase these handmade products not just for the sake of the sales but to help the underprivileged value and put their talents to the best. The intention is to not only provide our customers with environment friendly goods but also to apprehend the inner process of the goods came into existence as well.
This is how every purchase of handmade lights helps the ones who make it.