Odisha Women Weaving Bond Of Responsibility With Sabai Grass Rakhi

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Bhubaneswar: With the COVID-19 pandemic ruining economies and leaving millions unemployed in 2020, festivals like Raksha Bandhan have provided an opportunity for livelihood generation in India.

In an initiative by ORMAS, artisans of women SHGs are braiding and knotting the strands of Sabai grass into attractive rakhis.

This is the first time such an initiative of artisanal rakhis has been taken up by ORMAS and MayurShilpa, a wing of Mayurbhanj Sabai Farmers Produce Ltd, along with women from Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Sonepur and Trishakti Mahila Samiti in Bhubaneswar.

Materials being used are dry Sabai grass (golden grass) and various coloured cotton to make these unique, fancy rakhis. The dial of the rakhi is made with a cover of palm leaf.

They are being sold from conventional stalls at ORMAS office, near Stewart School in Bhubaneswar.

“We are selling 150-200 rakhis everyday. The cost of rakhis range from Rs 15 to Rs 30, depending on the size. Our Samiti has taken the responsibility of marketing these rakhis which the customers have appreciated a lot. The profit earned would be contributed to the relief fund for COVID-19 under the leadership of our chairperson, Sanjukta Bhutia,” said a member of Trishakti Mahila Samiti, Bermunda.

The objective is to celebrate Raksha Bandhan in an eco-friendly way as well as to address the scarcity of rakhis in the market amid the pandemic.

The initiative will help SHG members earn some money during these tough times.

An SHG member said that rakhis made of plastic pollute the environment. On the other hand, the Sabai rakhis are bio-degradable and environment-friendly as the dials can be used as coasters later, informed the Samiti member.

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