Plastic ban in Rajasthan is not just proved beneficial in combating environmental issues, it has also become a favorable source of income for women in the rural belt by creating numerous job opportunities. The ban in plastic has increased in the demand for cloth bags in the market, increasing job opportunities for the women of Kishangarh town in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Now, these women are putting in all efforts to be financially strong and independent.
Earlier, despite working for hours, women in Dungri Mohalla of Kishangarh could only manage to get a minimum of the amount as their daily wage. Since the last five years, women in Kishangarh Mohalla are regularly getting the work of sewing cloth bags unlike the uncertainty of the daily wage work. The increased demands made many businesspersons get rags and waste cloth from Surat textile industries in Gujarat and outsource work to these women to sew bags.
The women informed that they are offered Rs. 15 for one-kilo cloth bags where they can earn a maximum Rs 200 in a day. They also said that they are happy with the alternative source of income as this job gives them the liberty to work from home and look after their families as well.
"In the winter season, we get a lot of home-based work like tailoring, embroidering, peeling garlic and peas, chopping vegetables and packing etc., but it is the sewing of cloth bags that comes to us on a regular basis irrespective of the season," shared 35-year-old Manju Regar, who sews cloth bags as per her convenience and on an average earns Rs 100 per day.
Geeta Manoharpuriya, who works with a non-government organisation is also involved in the work of sewing cloth bags. She shares that women enjoy this work because of the freedom it offers them and that they can work without any interruption, deadline and without any negative impact on their health. They don't even require any special training for the same, she added.
Women find this work not only convenient but dignified as compared to the work they used to do as a daily wage labourer and domestic help. This way, they are able to support their families economically without compromising with their health and self-respect. The women are aware that the rate is low as compared to the work they do but the fact that they are able to do it from their home compensates it for them. They also believe that since the future has to be plastic-free, the demand for cloth bags will definitely increase, raising their chances of getting more regular employment.
(With inputs from ANI)