HOW EVERY PURCHASE OF HANDMADE BOTTLES HELPS THE ONES WHO MAKE IT?- A GLIMPSE OF THE PROCESS.


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.

4)Covering/decorating bottles:


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.


5)Light 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.

6)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.

A much needed awakening

Humans have always been extremely risk-averse, which is how we continue to survive even today. “Measure of intelligence is the ability to change”, we’ve all heard of it. But what exactly does it mean? To me, the concept is simple. To reflect on our actions, and what we, as individuals and citizens, can work upon to bring a difference. ‘

We have the power to bring change, We, as individuals, possess resources that the underprivileged do not then what is stopping us from effectuating it?

Change is when we wake up to the current global issues without leaving our problems to tomorrow. We are aware about the horrifying situation we have put ourselves in. Climate change, poverty, illiteracy, conflicts and wars, malnourishment and hunger are just to name a few. We’ve squandered decades of opportunities and continue to do so as the mindset “I haven’t done this so I shouldn’t be the one taking an action” still rules over most of us.

This is where it all goes wrong. We stop after our desires are fulfilled.

But the responsibility lies on all of us, including me. Hi, I am Inisha Sethia, a student and an intern at Seva Charitable Trust. The current global scenario and the ever- increasing issues were an eye opener for me. Although we may not be contributing to the problem, we certainly aren’t helping. The world of social media informs and introduces us to so many current issues. Social media certainly is one of my main sources of information. But spreading the word once in a while on our social handles is not enough. We need to step out there. There is so much we can all do.

I started with volunteering at a rescue and helping abandoned and injured dogs. I strongly stand against animal cruelty. I believe we need to be the voice of the voiceless. Later on, I got the incredible opportunity to intern at Seva. Their mission was extremely inspiring for me, helping the women of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, but also instilling a sense of empowerment and self sustenance in them while protecting the wildlife of the National Park. This was a wonderful opportunity for me, as I was not only able to help these strong empowered women, but also was able to learn a lot. Our team of interns was very supportive, and guided and helped each and every one of us. It instilled and taught us the importance of team work and effective communication.

I am glad I could be a part.

Thankyou

Changes Through My Eyes

The wilderness, the echo of nature, the sound that pleases our heart and soul, the bliss of the voices that have been heard, I see them here, I wish to see them everywhere

“For it is in giving that we receive”
-Saint Francis of Assisi

People have their own definitions of happiness, for some it might be their peers, for some it can be achieving what they’ve always dreamt of, it can be buying something, or travelling, it just varies. For me it would be finding contentment and peace after learning that my work has benefited someone, someone who really needed it.
I have always longed to volunteer for anything that holds an altruistic approach towards our earth and human kind. This would define happiness for me and it came to execution when I got the opportunity to work for SEVA ,a non profitable organisation which took this considerate initiative to help the tribal community and it’s underprivileged women, a community which needed to be uplifted the most, for whom we needed to break the stereotypes, propagate empowerment and equal opportunities for women.
Having been a content writer intern for a month now, I am Sumedha, a student, an enthusiast for writing and everything which endorses creativity and I would love to share my experiences while working for SEVA so they can be familiar with the generous steps that this organization has taken in order to help the humanity as well as conserve our nature at the same time. Tey started with the intention of igniting hope in humanity in everyone’s heart as everyone should know that no good deed goes wasted, it always helps, it always counts.
I would love to begin with the work I’ve been engaged in. We are a team consisting of several students belonging to different fields, from marketing and writing to designing.
While working for the social media team, whose sole purpose is to create a platform and amplify the voices of the tribal ladies of Sanjay Gandhi National Park amongst thousands of users, we learned how the organization earned by putting the products made by none other than the tribal community of SGNP via every platform available on internet. E-commerce, social media, LinkedIn and so much more. The profits earned would be given to the rightful people who put in all their hardwork in making these products. This has given them leverage, in working and self employement. Eventually this has paved a way for them, a way to self -dependency and sustainability especially for the women, as in many lower sectors of society women have undeniably been opressed to certain extent and deprived of opportunities.


We were familiarized with this massive concept itself that how these handmade products, not only provided employment to the underprivileged but also sustained and helped conserve our very much endangered wildlife/environment.
With reduction in plastic and industrial products and chemicals, these products proved to be eco friendly as they did not take much of forest resources and also reduced pollution, poaching and unnatural deaths in fauna which had taken place due to human activities.
Initially, these steps must have been considered miniscule, with no hope in bringing actual change but with time they did. Good things take time and they certainly bring changes. From a small initiative to a recognized organization , this is a live example which could justify that
“LOSING PATIENCE IS LOSING BATTLE. “”

Be the Change

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The Purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. We all know that health and sanitation is an important aspect of human life. To be healthy it is important that you are hygienic. To spread awareness on the importance of sanitation and hygiene among all the tribal communities, Seva Charitable Trust organised an event in Abhinav School, Borivali East and at our very own Sanjay Gandhi National Park. In this event we distributed Sanitary napkins and hand sanitizers among the children as well as the ladies present there. A talk to teach the importance of hygiene and its benefits to our health was given. The children were eager to learn and receive guidance from various independent and prominent women who were present at the event to support our cause.

Without the help and support of the public and our contributors this event would not have been possible. We would also personally like to thank Women Entrepreneurs Enclave and Reachout Foundation for their immense support and for making this even a huge success.

It is essential to remember that to bring about change, you have to be the change. To bring awareness among the masses, you have to speak! So remember even a small effort to bring about a change goes a long way in the eyes of people who need help.

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ROAR: Save Tigers

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How would we describe a tiger to our future generations? Would they be described as large orange cats that are over about 11 ft. in length and can weigh approx. 360 kgs? How would we describe the National Animal of India to children who have never seen one before due to their rapidly decreasing numbers? To be honest I myself have never actually seen a tiger in captivity or otherwise, even though I have been to Sanjay Gandhi National Park quite a few times.

We have often wondered as to what role do these tigers play in the ecosystem and why are they important? As the Environmental Studies book during our school days states, “The tigers play a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator which is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates such as horses, cattle, pigs, camels, deer in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed”. To save tigers means saving the ecosystem which would otherwise be destroyed by herbivore population explosion.

The tiger population is steadily growing and has risen to 2226 tigers from 1411 tigers in 2008. There are 48 reserves in India, which is now a home to about 70%of the worlds tiger population. It is important to remember that we claim to be the “most intelligent” species on the earth, and the smartest thing for all of us to do is to Save Tigers and all other animal species for a wonderful world.

On the day of International Tiger Day lets celebrate our National Animal and honour these apex predators with the respect they deserve. Seva Charitable Trust has been founded with the aim to spread awareness on the Tigers and to build a community that believes in ‘Saving Tigers’.

Visit our website to know more about us:http://www.sevacharitabletrust.org/

Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/seva_charitable_trust/

Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/sevaofficial/

Upcycle To Make a Difference

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PLASTIC has been a household item for innumerable years. With the recent ban on plastic in Maharashtra, there has been a havoc created among the masses with confusion on why was this major step taken. While the initiative was appreciated by all, its implementation stands to be questioned. According to the reports officially declared by Central Pollution Control Board, the amount of plastic waste generated in FY 2014-2015 is approx 141000 tonnes per day. But not all of this waste is recycled. These plastic products are then dumped in landfills and water bodies which further the harm to public health.

So what can us ordinary citizens of this heavily polluted nation do to help reduce the pollution in any way possible? While everyone surely does bet on ‘Recycling’ we do forget about the runner-up ie. ‘Reuse’ or ‘Upcycling’. Upcycling not only reduces the amount of one-time plastic waste being generated but also provides a better environmental value to old products. Upcycling is the opposite of downcycling, which is the other half of the recycling process.

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Beautiful indoor pots, bird feeders, cupholders and plastic lights out of bottles and other plastic trinkets. With a creative mind and the spirit to upcycle anyone can make an amazing product out of plastic. We at Seva promote upcycling plastic with our corporate partners at Bisleri. Our aim is to provide the tribal women with employment through making beautiful artisanal products out of plastic.

To check out the products made by the tribal women of Sanjay Gandhi National Park visit our Facebook Shop:https://www.facebook.com/sevaofficial/shop/?ref=page_internal

THE IRON LADY OF SEVA

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There are very few people in this world that have the power to influence you by not their words but their actions. A word that perfectly describes Amisha Parekh the Managing Trustee of Seva is ‘Passionate’. “A job where passion is absent is a job not worth doing”, and Amisha Ma’am is a torch bearer for this quote. The first time that I met her she had a very warm and welcoming smile on her face which made the first day of my internship memorable. The belief and confidence that she puts on me made me want to perform all the tasks given perfectly. She has a way with words, and skills to communicate her thoughts to the audience without them dozing off. The hardwork that she puts in for Seva has made it quite clear that she is a leader who knows the way. On the day of our field visit to Sanjay Gandhi National Park where she spoke to all the tribal ladies made me realise two things, the first being everyone needs to be motivated to do a good job, that everyone needs someone who believes in them. And the second being that instead of sympathizing we need to start empathizing. I call Amisha Ma’am the iron lady of Seva not because of her never give up attitude but because she is the BACKBONE of Seva and no one can replace her!

ANMOL RATNA: THE WOMAN WHO DEFIES ALL ODDS.

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How do you describe a lady who is willing to to any work, who is passionate, creative and leads by action? Meet Ratna Tai a Tribal lady living in Sanjay Gandhi National Park who is dedicated to her work and determined to set an examples to other tribal women alike. Defying all odds Ratna Tai and her husband work as a unit towards motivating the ladies to join Seva’s mission to empower and employ Tribal women. Working as a maid in buildings near the park, she also gives her time to the ongoing Tailoring Project of Seva by not only doing her part but also going above and beyond her work by teaching her friends various techniques. As the self-appointed leader of the tribal ladies she is a force to be reckoned with, but all this would be impossible without the support of her husband and family. Women like Ratna Tai are not only an inspiration to her tribal friends but also to every other women with a dream to succeed and do well in life. The spark in her eyes and the smile on her lips when she speaks about how Seva has helped her family by not only increasing their income but also teaching her a new skill is a different type of satisfaction that I would ever receive.

LIFE AS A TRIBAL

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In the early days of working in Seva I always wondered as to how the tribal communities live and the everyday problems that they face. But I could never understand their ordeals living in a forest may cause. After a visit to the padas while trekking in Sanjay Gandhi National Park opened up my eyes to a reality I had never seen before. The tribal women wake up at the crack of dawn and set off to their work. While talking to one of the tribal women at the park I realized that these women wake up early in the morning and finish off their household work and set off to the forest to collect wood. Due to the lack of proper amenities they still use wood for cooking food and other purposes. An inside view of the houses in the padas show a scene of total neglect of the tribal folk by us. Electricity without which we cannot even spend a day, seems like a distant dream to them. The nights in these forests are darker than dark, with sounds of animals prowling around in the jungles. These nights might give any ordinary people nightmares! After a day spent around these tribals, sharing a meal with them and traveling to some of the interior parts of the forest with them made me take off my hat in salute to them, cause I sure may not be able to live like a tribal.

LIFE IN EVERY STITCH!

Seva9Amidst the chaos, the city lights, the concrete jungle and a place with big dreams, trees stand tall in a small part of Mumbai city, known as Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

The human population living here survives but does not live, where folks are competent but lack the support needed for their livelihood. This ignored population commonly known as the tribal people are struggling every minute of their lives for the basic human needs.

We, at SEVA are here to bring a change and give them a lending hand for their secure future. SEVA was founded in 2015 by Harish Parekh and two other trustees for their love of wildlife and mother earth. Their passion for serving the nature and wildlife motivated them to help the tribal people in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The NGO has started various initiatives like tailoring projects and pottery projects to empower the tribal people and provide them with a stable livelihood.

We are focusing on tribal women living in SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) to give them employment ensuring sustainable development by organizing a tailoring project named ‘LIFE IN EVERY STITCH ‘. We want to make sure that every woman is self-dependent and can shape a better future for themselves and their children.

#ekdhagazingakika#stitchinglives#bringachange#yesfellows#changinglives