Keonjhar: Nothing goes to waste in this world. The veracity of this saying can be well realised when one meets the women of Chhamunda village under Telkoi block in Keonjhar district. Using discarded cement bags they are eking out a living for their families. These women make ropes out of the bags and those are in great demand in the nearby areas.
Earlier, there used to be jute cultivation in most parts of the district. However, with the demand for jute decreasing worldwide, farmers have stopped cultivating jute.
Earlier when jute was in vogue, ropes made of the same material were available in the market. These ropes are generally used by farmers. The ropes were multi-utility products and were used for various purposes. But with jute farming on the downslide, ropes also became a scarcity. So people were looking for a substitute.
A few months back a few women of Chhamunda village were discussing their financial woes. It was then the idea of making ropes out of discarded cement bags struck them.
The very next day they started working on it. They collected some discarded empty cement bags. The threads were separated and then using those threads they weaved ropes. When they went to sell those ropes at a nearby market, they managed to do so in a jiffy.
Since then more and more women of the village have been involved in the rope-making activity. These ropes are being used for various chores. They are also useful in making a cot. Also from the discarded cement bags, the women are making bags of various sizes for storing products.
These women were once fully dependant on their husbands for the expenses of their families. Now they are also happy to contribute. Now more than 40 women are involved in the business of making ropes and selling them.
Local activist Chinmay Kumar Sahoo said that these women are not getting proper returns for their efforts. “If they are given proper training to add value to their products, then they can also make some decorative home products and sell them in fairs and exhibitions,” he observed.
“If at least a self help group is formed and then a cooperative society, they can produce articles in large quantities and increase their share of profits,” he added.