Every thread has a story to share …
Right from the fields of indigenous cotton growing farmers to the spinners to the fifty women in four different villages converting every natural dyed thread into an unique rakhi. Buying this Rakhi you are encouraging farmers to grow indigenous cotton in the time when most of the country is growing poisonous genetically modified seeds.
This rakhi holds the seed in it so just tie, sow & see your relationship grow.
This is a step towards organic, chemical free living an exploitation-free living.
Please spread the word and order your rakhis now!!
> Take the example of clothes that we wear. Isn’t it the Cotton Kings, Fab Indias or the fashion streets of our cities that come to our mind? But what about the mill workers? The handloom weavers? The cotton growing farmers? Forget the centre stage, but do we even feel their presence backstage? Umm… most probably not. Therefore, when more than 1,00,000 textile mill workers lose their jobs in Mumbai alone, we don’t find any connection with it. We are hardly aware that more than 2,00,000 farmers in India have committed suicide in the past two decades and most of these farmers are cotton growers.
> It doesn’t mean that people are inherently insensitive. It’s just that we have ended up creating a society where we have managed to take the producers and the consumers as far away from each others as possible. It won’t be a surprise to find in our own lives examples wherein we have without realisation become an exploitative consumers of the products in the production of which we also play a part.
> Most of our efforts should be seen in this context. Any initiative that we take, be it the seed festival or the opening of an organic produce outlet in Nagpur or be it the Eco-Rakhi initiative, are all directed towards bringing together each and every link of the whole chain, right from producers to consumers. This will hopefully enable a process of sensitisation of each & every one of us towards what we consume and then lead us to act on it.
> The Rakhi initiative is also part of the same larger picture. Today India is the second biggest producer of cotton globally. East Asian region is birth place of two different species of cotton. Yet, more than 95% of the cotton grown here is the American Genetically Modified (GM) cotton which is not indigenous to our region and ecologically damaging. This has economic implications for the cotton farmers as well because the seeds of this cotton are patented and the farmers have become completely dependent on these seed companies in order to farm. Similarly, once the home of decentralised cloth production system, most of the cloth made here is now made by a highly polarised industrial system of spinning & textile mills. This has marginalised the livelihoods of innumerable spinners and weavers, a considerable number of which were Dalits and had a chance to get out of a system in which their livelihood is mostly associated with ‘menial’ and ‘unclean’ works.
> Today, to overcome these flaws in our production system, and to make the whole cotton to cloth process localized again, some people have started working on different aspects of the process. Our Rakhi represents these efforts to find an alternative to the current system.
> These Rakhis are completely made from cotton yarn. It is the cotton indigenous to East Asian region which is used for making this yarn. It is organically grown by farmers in Vidarbha. The coloured yarn used in Rakhis has been dyed using natural colours. The cotton has been hand-spun by women of Vidarbha using Charkhas and transformed into yarn. This completely localised and eco-friendly yarn has been transformed into Rakhis by 50 women of 5 different villages in Madhya Pradesh lying on the border of Nagpur district. An indigenous seed which does not belong to any company, is grown by farmers in Vidarbha, year after year, generation after generation, has been placed on these Rakhis.
> In short, this Rakhi represents an alternative to the current exploitative system. It is not at all just a commodity, but an idea and a hope for the future. Through this we are trying to connect the producers, processors and consumers with each other. We are optimistic that once we all start seeing each other as partners instead of competitors trying for profit maximisation at each stage, we will collectively be able to come up with different alternatives for a socially equitable future.
> details of cotton to yarn process:
> – Anand 1 is a farmer bred variety by a farmer from Nanded district.
> – Anand 1 was grown in Wardha.
> – AKA-7 has been grown by many farmers in Akola district.
> – Cotton to sliver roving (the pre-spinning process) took place at Gram Sewa Mandal (GSM), Wardha.
> – Spinning has been done by women of Wardha on Ambar Charkhas by hand.
> – Dyeing has been done by the Rangaai Unit of Magan Sangrahalay, Wardha.
> – after this Yarn taken to paradsinga Village, where Nutan Dwivedi a young girl ( Studying BSc) from same village teach how to make rakhis from this colored yarn to 50 women from 4 different nearby villages. Khairi, Paradsinga, satnoor, kelwad.
Rakhis cost Rs. 20 , 25 and Rs 30
Nagpur Beejotsav group : Tanmay joshi, Rupinder Nanda and Kirti Mangrulkar