Summers in Bangalore are getting warmer with each passing year. But, I’m glad for one thing. I enjoy wearing my cotton sarees the most during this season more than any other time of the year. Cottons are the best and handlooms are my favourites. Only recently, we celebrated the Bengali New Year and of course, it was yet another occasion to pull out one of my favourite nine-yard beauties that hardly ever gets to see the light of the day. Needless to say, it felt wonderful.
At times like this, I’m given to wondering why we’ve all got into the habit of donning a saree only when there is a special occasion for it. Our moms wore them all the time and were so comfortable in them. Why do we make such a fuss of wearing them these days? Well, I don’t know about you, but I do. Most of us have a pretty large collection of sarees that we hardly ever use. We air them and pat them lovingly and have so many stories revolving around them, but how many of us have spared a thought about sharing our lovely sarees to help someone less fortunate?
There is an initiative called the #100sareedrive which I must admit I only came to know about, very recently. Notwithstanding its many pitfalls, sometimes social media can also be the surest and the quickest way to reach out to people – in this case, mainly to reuse the often neglected, or worn-out or even unused fabrics by passing them on to someone less privileged, especially our women in the villages.
And why not? Most of us have a couple of almost new, barely used cotton sarees, lying in our wardrobes that are hardly used. Instead of letting them languish in a corner of the cupboard, why not let it adorn another woman’s meagre wardrobe, in one of India’s many villages? That was the idea behind #100sareedrive, which works in collaboration with organisations in the major cities to prove that the power of numbers reigns supreme. The idea behind is to bring a smile on the faces of the women who will receive them.
Besides sarees, they are looking at cotton cloth in good condition (bedsheets, curtains, kurtas, tops, old sarees – which can then be used to convert into making cloth pads / reusable sanitary napkins for women in rural areas.
If you are wondering where this is being organised, then you’ve got to head off to Indiranagar, to see the antique wooden chest that is displayed at the gorgeous villa turned saree showroom, situated at 100 feet road. Team Taneira, who are leading this initiative in the city of Bangalore believe this “is the passing of treasures from one woman to another, so what better than a treasure chest to collect them in?” I’m sure you’d agree that nothing could be more beautiful and thoughtful than this.
Especially in a country where families struggle with poverty in not just bringing up the children and young girls but also in getting them married off and more often than not, struggle to organise a wedding kit at the time of the wedding. It is here that organisations such as GOONJ help to put together a ‘wedding kit’ made exclusively by collecting ‘mata-ki-chunnis’ that people usually offer the deities and later, throw them into a river, causing more environmental waste. This way, the ‘chunnis’ get re-used along with wedding costumes that many are also happy to donate for a greater cause. The idea then is that they will certainly treasure our precious possessions all the more.
Many are pitching in, in their own small ways, to help someone in need in a distant village. Sharing our personal possessions and treasures with someone who needs them more than we do, is a wonderful way to help our sisters in the villages.
If you are interested, please do help in this wonderful initiative, here are the details. Remember the last date is April 30, 2017.