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.
This is such a good initiative… liked reading about this… visited their site too.. it’s great how such small initiatives grow up to become larger ones through the power of the net..
Ye.s, you’re absolutely right. These things do get noticed once they are in the focus.
What a great initiative. Sadly I just saw your post and shared it a bit too late.
I have only very few saris as mine and all of them were bought at the time of my wedding and two of them during my sister’s wedding. As you said, I too wear them only during special occasions. And because of that my mom or MIL never gifts me sari, instead always salwar. I don’t buy sari as I don’t wear them often. I have worn what few saris I have many many times in these 9 years and so last week I told my sister and sister-in-law to buy me a few and send it to me. I am hoping to cultivate a competition of sorts between them in buying me sari where the winner would ultimately be me. 😀
This is a nice initiative. Here we donate old but usable clothes to Goodwill stores. Good to know about this, Esha.
Haha…that’s clever of you Vinitha. I like the idea of the competition where you win both ways. Yes, the initiative is a great one and thats why I thought many of us would actually like to share what we don’t need and find happiness in parting with our prized possessions.
Hey Esha, thanks for bringing out the awareness. It feels bad to see those Sarees just lying there in trunks. I have gifted few of mine to others. But yes its a nice idea to gift them to those who can’t afford buying them. After all its just a seasonal thing for us. There are many I never worn. I will check out if someone here(in my region) collects them.
Absolutely with you on this one, Upasna. I thought gifting them something which is really in good condition and worth a special occasion like a wedding, is truly a great idea. I’m sure they are also doing in other cities although I personally know about it happening in Chennai, Mysore, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Will definitely keep you posted if I find out more about which cities are participating and where the collection points are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Upasna.
This is such a lovely and worthy initiative. Let me see if I can go to Indiranagar. I’d love to give some of my sarees too because I hardly wear them unless, as you rightly pointed out, there is a special occasion. Thank you for letting us know, Esha..And yes, I know I’m a little late but subho noboborsho 🙂
Shubho Noboborsho to you and yours Nabanita. Lovely thought behind this whole initiative isn’t it? I ‘m gifting many of mine which are worthy of being gifted on special occasions along with those which I know will find some use with another. If you are serious you could speak to the concerned person shown in the image, and see if they can send someone to pick it up from your place. No harm asking you know. 🙂