A group of women in Harda district in MP have begun to use plastic waste to make toys and sell them at handsome prices under a panchayat launched ‘raddi se samriddhi’ (prosperity from waste) scheme.
The scheme was formally launched on September 25. The first sale of their waste stuffed toys will be held on October 2, Harda district panchayat chief executive officer (CEO) Shanmukhapriya Mishra said.
About a dozen women are collecting plastic waste and papers from the roadside, cutting them into small pieces and using them to stuff soft toys. Later, the toys will be sold with the help of the panchayat and the proceed distributed among the women.
Mishra said, “We have a dual motive behind this campaign. First is to reduce pollution and second is to provide a source of income to rural women. The toys stuffed with polythene and papers will also be cost efficient.”
All these women have been given training by their mentors Kusum Kesavre and Shikha Kesavre.
On a trial basis, a drive was conducted on September 25 wherein the women and school students jointly collected plastic waste and papers from various parts of the district, cleaned them up and then used them as toy stuff. The drive was very successful, the Kesavres said.
Mishra said, “On October 2, we will market these products during a programme in Harda district by putting up special stalls. We have also allotted a hall to these women so that they can collect trash and converted it into stuff.”
Swacch Bharat Mission in-charge Hymavathi Varman said, “This is a very good initiative by Harda district panchayat. The campaign will be extended to other districts too.”