Berhampur: Ahead of the proposed ban on plastic bags in Odisha from October 2, the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) has started imparting training to women self-help groups (SHGs) and a batch of transgenders in how to make cotton bags.
The BeMC has been giving cotton bag making classes to around 100 women and transgenders under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) programme.
“It is a job of dignity and self-reliance. Many women and even transgenders are taking training in making cotton bags which will be required after imposition of ban on use of plastics,” BeMC Commissioner Chakravarti Singh Rathore said Friday.
“We included transgender people in the programme as they also have great skills and this will help them live a life of dignity and self-respect. They can earn their livelihood by doing the job instead of making money by begging in trains and other places,” he added.
The state government has announced a ban on the use, stock and manufacture of plastic or polythene bags from October 2 in five municipal corporation areas, including Berhampur and Puri, in the first phase.
“As an alternative to plastic bags, people and shop owners can use the cotton bags. All kinds of eco-friendly and visually appealing, embroidered bags will be made. These will be liked by the people since the bags are low cost and affordable. Every common man can buy them,” BeMC Commissioner added.
“The basic training in cotton bag making is being given to a person for three to five days,” nodal officer of NULM, Geetanjali Samantaray said.
She said the members of SHGs and the transgenders were very much interested in taking the training and supplying the cotton bags to the market.
“Most of the members have sewing machines and there is no problem on their part to make cotton bags in their houses and to make some extra money,” she said.