Ethel Da Costa

India's Award Winning Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist, Media Influencer-Media Entrepreneur

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Saving the Planet with a `Bhaji Bag’

How Bhopal’s wonder women of the Mahashakti Seva Kendra want to save the Planet with their eco-friendly initiative, and why their empowerment is all about the ACTION speaking for itself

When I saw a picture of the bag posted on designer Wendell Rodricks Instagram page, I immediately commented. I liked the shape and colour of it. I liked it even more when I got to know it was an endeavour  by the Mahashakti Seva Kendra (MSK) – an all women’s Not for Profit organization in Bhopal – to propagate a plastic free world, empower their women to make a living, and make our Planet a sustainable dwelling for all of us. The conscious ones are paying heed towards environmental conservation across the globe. Those blind to the horrors of environmental degradation and rapid climate change, God save you, really.

The MSK Bhaji Bag tells the story of Bhopal which witnessed the world’s worst chemical tragedy in 1984. Exposing nearly 500,000 of its population to the lethal MIC gas, effects of it witnessed till date on its fragile eco-system and human health, MSK stepped in to make a small contribution, with a large scale agenda towards making a difference, and a big heart initiative to support its women and empower them economically.

Speaking to Pooja Iyengar, member of the Mahashakti Seva Kendra (MSK), their mission, Iyengar says, is to handcraft eco-friendly products and support its women with a livelihood. “These are made of fabric that is treated naturally using organic vegetable dye. We believe that small steps can achieve a lot. Therefore to go plastic free, we came up with a vegetable bag that makes veggie shopping easy, while also being eco-friendly. Usually we carry a cotton bag to the market, and when we buy different vegetables we have to dump them all together in one bag, or we take different polythene bags for different veggies, and then put them in the big cotton bag. To make our life simpler and ban plastic completely, we designed the MSK Bhaji Bag.  It is a sturdy canvas bag with a number of compartments to store different vegetables. This gives the user a very convenient and eco-friendly shopping experience,” she explains.

Iyengar very passionately promotes the good cause. “When you buy a vegetable bag from us, you are not only helping the environment, but also empowering the lady who has stitched this bag for you. Our partners come from ordinary homes, and are not artisans. They are housewives, moms, wives with varied backgrounds coming together with a common aim of making our Planet green. We have a collective of 30 devoted and hardworking ladies who are also striving to become economically independent. The MSK Bhaji Bag will not only help the environment, but also help these ladies to realize their dreams.”

Iyengar makes a heartfelt plea – “Save the environment and save a dream. Start with buying a bag.” I’m buying two. One  for my daughter as well. Given its multi-pockets, multi-utility and size, we all know how we love stashing all kinds of women things and survival tools into our  big bags 🙂  What about you?

Here’s how you do it: Price Rs 150 + 80 (courier charges)

Contact: 9810929940

Email: poojaiyengar1906@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MahashaktiSevaKendra/

Ethel da Costa
Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist, Founder-CEO, Think Geek Media

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