Disabled students of Kerala’s Raksha Society students’ swamped with orders for paper & cloth bags
Kerala government has banned single-use plastics from 1 January 2020. Students at Raksha Society in Kochi are making paper and cloth bags to be sold after the ban comes into effect. The bags are available at affordable rates. Raksha Society has already been getting bulk orders. Officials at Raksha says that they are doing their bit to protect the environment. At the same time, students with disabilities are also getting benefitted.
Recently, the Kerala government won hearts for their upcoming initiative to ban single use plastic products. The ban that will come to effect from 1 January 2020 was definitely much needed. Raksha Society, one of the most popular schools for children with disabilities, are doing their bit to protect the environment. With the plastic ban coming into effect soon, students at Raksha are making plastic and paper bags. Nearly ten members are part of their team which has two mentors as well.
Contributing members of society
Students at Raksha have been making unique plastic and paper bags since the past many years. This was part of their vocational training since the year 2006. But the demand was quite low. With single use plastic ban, members at Raksha are now busy and have their hands full. Over the past few days, the team has been working on mass production of both paper and cloth bags.
Girija Nath Menon, Executive Secretary, Raksha Society, says that as a socially responsible organisation, they will do their bit for the society.
We always felt the need to say no to plastic. So our students have been making paper and cloth bags since the past many years. But now, we have got bulk orders from many individuals and organisations after the plastic ban. By supporting our cause, a person who buys our products is reaching out to a child with special needs and helping them- Girija Nath Menon, Executive Secretary, Raksha Society.
Unique products for sale
Cloth from old curtains, dresses and newspapers are used for making these bags. Students with both physical and intellectual disabilities are part of the team. “The main purpose is to use recycled products. Our products are available at affordable rates and also depending on the size and weight of the bag. Each students does their bit depending on what they are good at”, says Elizabeth Philip, Principal, Raksha. She adds, “These kind of vocational training benefits students in many ways. It boosts their self-esteem and confidence. They are provided a stipend for the work that they do’.
Prominent organisations like Rotary Club and YMCA have already placed orders for plastic and cloth bags. Meanwhile, the students are experimenting with different ways in which they can make their bags unique to stand out in the market. Clara CP is in-charge of helping students make cloth bags. “John CP who is a wheelchair user is our main tailor. Others help him. We do not use complicated stitches to make our bags. They are all done using single stitches which is easier and faster. This vocational training helps them in many ways including their mental and physical development”, says Clara CP.