The ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival this year will be celebrated with local flavour in Rajasthan, as many organisations in the state are following the Prime Minister’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’.
They have started making handmade ‘rakhis’, boycotting Chinese raw materials which till last year dominated the ‘rakhi’ manufacturing market.
Banswara will lead the show in this context as women there have pledged to use everything Indian and boycott China-made goods while tying ‘Swadeshi rakhi’ on their brothers’ wrists. This is what Swati Jain and Sandeep Tripathi from Banswara, who run an NGO, Sparsh Sansthan, are trying to do.
“On this Raksha Bandan day, all sisters will pledge to use India made goods and shall boycott China made goods while tying rakhis on their brothers’ wrists,” said Swati Jain.
The couple has been engaged in several social issues, including donating hair for cancer patients, renovating step wells and launching toy banks for kids, among other things. They have a big team, which is now involved in rolling out ‘Swadeshi rakhis’ ahead of the festival on August 3, added Sandeep.
They have already started training people to make handmade rakhis using local raw materials.
Besides Banswara, large scale rakhi production has started in Bharatpur too in attempt to boost the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign.
Many people in Bharatpur are getting engaged in making rakhis using cowdung and Tulsi seeds while rejecting the Made-in-China materials.
Himani, who is associated with rakhi making in the Shrigopesh Panchgayvashala and Research Centre, said, “Following the ‘Vocal for Local’ call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are making rakhis which can be sown in pots or gardens after their use. A Tulsi plant will come out of it as there is a Tulsi seed placed in the rakhi. These rakhis shall be much better than the plastic rakhis which posed an environmental threat.”
The research centre is also training many people to make idols, pots and frames by using cowdung, said Himani.
Vijay Ojha, also associated with the research centre, said, “Last time, we had supplied these cowdung made rakhis to places like Ujjain, Varanasi, Delhi and Jaipur. This year, we have already started receiving big orders from different places. We have 25 different types of rakhis,” he said.
Besides Bharatpur and Banswara, a women self-help group is being trained in Ajmer to make rakhis using Indian raw materials. The training is being imparted in Arjunlal Sethi Nagar, where women are also being made aware of micro-finance schemes.