Monday January 22, 2018

NGO ‘Saathi’ aims to deliver 1 Million biodegradable Banana-fibre Sanitary Pads in rural Jharkhand

Social Welfare organisation Saathi takes a unique initiative by introducing and circulating sanitary napkins made of banana fibre in rural Jharkhand

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Disposing sanitary napkins, Wikimedia
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Kolkata, Jan 11, 2017: Social enterprise Saathi, founded by three MIT graduates, aims to deliver one million biodegradable sanitary pads made from banana fibre to women in rural Jharkhand, its co-founder said here on Thursday.

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“We are partnering with NGOs to distribute pads to women in urban slums and rural villages. The target as of now is to deliver one million pads in rural Jharkhand in a year,” co-founder and CEO of Saathi Kristin Kagetsu told IANS here.

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The Ahmedabad-headquartered Saathi is one of the top 20 ventures featuring in the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC) 2016-2017.

TSEC is a joint initiative by the TATA Group and the Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta (IIM), a national level challenge to find India’s most promising social enterprises.

Founded in 2014 by Kristin and colleagues Amrita Saigal and Grace Kane, the venture claims to be the first company to make biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibre.

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“We were driven by the fact that 275,000,000 women in India can’t access pads because they are too expensive, scarcely available and difficult to discard,” said Kristin.

With a production plant that is women-operated, the enterprise produces pads that are sustainable, highly-absorbent and non-toxic.

The company is mulling a soft launch for urban markets in 2017.

 

“We have not yet decided where to launch. As for the price, it will be cheaper than the commercially available ones,” Kristin added. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC