Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
Sharing sweets and exchanging gifts is the best part of any Indian festival, IMO. Why not check out these fabulous eco friendly gift ideas for Diwali, that will support women’s self-help groups?
As a child, I always loved receiving gifts from my loved ones. But as I grew up, I learnt the immense pleasure of giving. That excitement, that smile, that joy we see in our loved ones is so precious, isn’t it?! Why not extend that very smile onto others as well?
We can indirectly bring cheer into the lives of someone who might be totally a stranger to us. I am talking of women’s self-help groups, or SHGs for short.
It’s also important to consider the kind of gift we pick for our loved ones. This festive season, let’s be responsible buyers and gift-givers, contributing our bit to the environment by choosing all natural and eco friendly gifts for Diwali.
These are self governed groups of people with a similar socio-economic background, and having a desire to collectively perform a common purpose. The members of an SHG face similar problems. As the name itself suggests, they help each other, to solve their problems. SHGs also promote small savings among their members.
To help you with this, we have made a nice list of such organizations, and specific items too, that will make great eco friendly gift ideas for Diwali..
Apart from these, there are a lot of such groups which operate locally (without a website or an online portal), and you may find them in local exhibitions or sales during the festive season. Reach out to them and make their festival too, a special one.
Find it here
Kshitij (meaning “New Horizon” in Sanskrit) is a Mumbai-based NGO that employs adults with intellectual disabilities to create chocolates and exquisite hand-crafted items that make for excellent eco friendly gift ideas for Diwali.
They make a large variety of hand-crafted gift items that are made from natural, eco-friendly materials such as cotton, jute, wood, clay and bark. Their products make excellent corporate and personal gifts. They also design customized gifts for special occasions such as weddings, birthday parties, festival celebrations or corporate events.
Women’s India Trust
Women’s India Trust (WIT) is a charitable organization established in the year 1968 by Ms. Kamila Tyabji. WIT started by training less privileged and unskilled women in Mumbai to stitch sari petticoats. Since then WIT has helped many women to develop skills and earn a regular income; this has changed their lives and the lives of their families.
They have a wide range of products like food, bags, toys and handicrafts and many more. They also accept online donations.
Mahashakti Seva Kendra
Mahashakti is a voluntary organization which was officially registered in the year 1992. It is a Bhopal based non-profit working towards women empowerment.
They use hand block-printing, a craft brought to India by Mughals hundreds of years ago. The women use five earthen elements – oil, mud, metals, herbs, and salts – to form chemical free natural dyes for the dyeing and printing.
The Bengaluru-based Diya Foundation trains differently-abled youth to create paper lanterns, candles, lamps, and chocolate boxes, from paper, and recyclable products like newspapers, bottles, bobbins, etc.. They hope that this training could make them independent enough to be able to earn a living.
Wama: Women Artisans Marketing Agency
Wama showcases products and designs made with hand embroidery using the skills of local artisans, who are mostly underprivileged tribal women and embroidery artisans from Kutch district of Gujarat.
Their products range from apparels, quilts, curtains, party bags and many more. They also accept customized orders upon request.
Subha, The New Dawn For Women
The brand Subha was launched to support women from underprivileged families by providing them with entrepreneurial opportunity. They specialize in handicraft items.
Hosa Belaku Artisans Foundation
The groups make lovely recycled paper products as well as block-printed and embroidered textiles. Their goal is to help those with disabilities, particularly women, so that they can have access to a decent livelihood by working from their home locations without having to migrate/travel long distances.
Dastkar was founded in 1981 by six women who worked in the craft and development sector. The aim of Dastkar’s programme is to help craftspeople, especially women, to use their own traditional craft skills as a means of employment, income generation and economic self-sufficiency.
Dastkars bazars on a theme are famous – they are held all around the year, in the NCR and other metros. During non bazaar days they showcase their products in their dedicated space at Nature Bazaar Andheria Modh, New Delhi. A look at their Facebook page will delight you; there are many other products there.
I Was A Sari
I was a Sari takes an eco-ethical approach to fashion, with products created by marginalised women in Mumbai, using pre-loved Indian saris. It also aims to help these women by empowering them to create a better, independent life and future.
They have interesting products for women like clothing, jewellery, shoes, bags and other such accessories.
My Choices Foundation
The My Choices Foundation have lovely scarves, stoles and bags, made by women dealing with domestic violence and human trafficking. Each of their products is made from upscaled 100% silk sarees.
Kumbaya is a social venture bringing women together to learn a skill and earn their way out of poverty.
Nothing is discarded as waste at Kumbaya, making these truly eco friendly gift ideas. Even the last scrap of fabric finds its way on to a product in a way that it is best utilized. Additionally, training pieces that used to be thrown away are redesigned into useful products. They sell apparels, accessories, gifts and wild honey too. You can find them at various exhibitions throughout the year.
Shop for a Cause
It has eco friendly gift ideas such as grass and reed baskets, jute handbags and stationery and articles made from recycled plastic and paper. Products are sourced directly from artisans and artisan groups. Their retail store is located in J P Nagar, Bangalore.
Selected products are also available online at www.shopforacause.in, Amazon India and Amazon, USA. They have very interesting products like Home and Garden, Accessories for women, stationary and books as well.
The list goes on… There are plenty more such SHGs around you. Look out for them, and lighten up someone else’s life this Diwali, without expecting anything in return. This way, you are doing your bit to make this world a better place to live.
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I am basically a Software Engineer from Bangalore. I have worked in the IT industry
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