Employment October 23, 2019
Priyaja’s recyclable & eco-friendly paper pen unit empowers parents of children with disabilities
When Priyaja Madhu had a daughter who was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy, she started looking into the many ways through which she can empower parents like her who had children with various disabilities. That is how she started a venture of recyclable and eco-friendly paper pens, a business that is doing very well at Thrissur in Kerala. More than eight parents and their disabled children are part of this venture.
When Priyaja Madhu had her first daughter who was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy, she was shocked, devastated and confused just like any other new parent. But she realised that a child with a disability is only the start to new beginnings and explorations. Soon, she met many other parents like her and that is how she decided to start something exclusively where both parents and children can work together to earn a living. Today, her venture of making eco-friendly paper pens is a huge success. Priyaja and her team has been getting bulk orders from across the globe.
Based in Thrissur, a small town in Kerala, Priyaja and her team has made thousands of pens already. What makes her paper pens even more unique is that they are recyclable and eco-friendly. Only the refill is made of plastic and rest everything else is made exclusively from paper. The team ensures that they put a vegetable seed into every pen. Once the user throws away the pen, a seed that is attached to it grows into a plant.
Even when my daughter was diagnosed with a disability, I did not want to cry and spend rest of my days. I looked into the many ways through which I could empower her. I have noticed that mothers who have a disabled child often gets into depression, especially because they do not have any support from their own family. Most of them are unable to go outdoors or work. That is why I wanted to include both mothers and their kids together and start something-Priyaja Madhu.
While looking out for different options is when Priyaja came across Handicrafts, a venture of making hand-crafted products. She soon bought some shares in it and called them down to Thrissur to start a training for parents of children with disabilities. Though detailed sessions on how to make paper pens and cloth bags were given, many parents did not turn up after the classes ended. But a determined Priyaja did not give up. She called upon more parents and taught them herself and started a unit of her own. “We need to initially train mothers so that they can teach their children. For a child who has a disability, learning things will take a lot of time”, she says.
Priyaja wants to buy exclusive machinery to make cloth bags, but she is waiting for bulk orders. “We do not want to compromise on the quality of our products. All of us at the unit are perfectionists. We sell at the most reasonable rates at the market and that is what makes our venture unique and the best”, says Priyaja.
Currently, her unit has eight members and she is working on building her team. Started a year back, the venture is doing extremely well and they have got orders from corporate companies and private parties. They even sold a bulk to Australia.
Today, Priyaja’s daughter Ammu who has completed class 12 is gearing up to join her graduation course and this mother cannot be happier. “I always ensure to take her out and show her the world. I don’t want her to be confined to the four walls of our home. Parents must understand that having a disabled child is not end of the tunnel. God has given you newer challenges to face because he knows that the child is safe in your hands and you are strong to take care of them. Look into ways to empower yourself and your child”, she says.
Lakshmi Kaushik recently ordered 60 pens from Priyaja to be gifted to kids as part of her son’s birthday celebrations. “I know many people who do similar ventures, but I always felt Priyaja’s work to be very genuine. What makes it even more wonderful is that they involve their children in it as well. The pens are an ideal way to tackle the problem of environmental pollution because they are all made from paper. Hence, this is the ideal gift to be given to young kids so that they also become aware of the need to protect our environment.Moreover, Priyaja personally looks into quality of each pen that is made”, says Lakshmi.
You can contact Priyaja Madhu at +91 94476- 76602.