Hyderabad: Cloth bags, anyone?

Hyderabad: "The most selfish thing is to give, as it gives one joy," says Sudha Gorthi, at her residence in Sainikpuri. She has been at the forefront of charity be it the annual jumble sale (The proceeds are used to help the underprivileged) and several other initiatives.

"The idea of making bags out of waste cloth occurred in 2011. Awareness on the use of cloth bags increased today, but back then not many spoke of it," says Sudha. Old curtains and bed sheets were first used and later cut pieces were sourced from tailors.

As the news spread, many approached her, for instance, one Mr Mehta of Ankur Garments readily agreed to help on the condition that the cloth would be used only to make cloth bags.

Women who had sewing machines were identified and were paid Rs 6 per bag. The price of bags range from Rs 30 to Rs 50 and the proceeds are used to help buy books and science equipment for government school children.

Big hit among youth

The sling bags sold like hot cakes in colleges as girls picked them up as it is fashionable. The novelty lay in the mix and match and ethnic design. Sudha Raghuram, a close friend helped a great deal in logistics and also with ideas, says Sudha.

The bags were not just picked up by women for shopping but were used as gifts. They were ideal as give away gifts and many bags have found their way to the USA as well. People have also given away the bags as return gifts during birthday parties.

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