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This Kolkata Based NGO Is On A Mission To Tackle Textile Waste By Upcycling Scrapped Cloth Into Clothes For Underprivileged Children

By forming new outfits out of scrap, we are not only curbing the textile waste generated by factories, but we are also trying to meet the needs of those less fortunate, said Ms. Vandana Jain, Founder, Katran Foundation

‘Katran’ which means ‘scraps of cloth’ is an initiative to convert waste into wealth: Ms. Vandana Jain, Founder, Katran Foundation
  • Fashion is one of the highest polluting industries in the world: UNEP
  • Cloth waste generated by factories can be used for a good cause: NGO
  • Katran Foundation has donated over 3,000 upcycled dresses to poor children

New Delhi: According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), textile and fashion industry is one of the highest polluting industries in the world. It says that this industry is responsible for carbon emissions more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is thrown in landfills or burned globally, highlights UNEP. In a bid to fight the textile and fashion industry’s environmentally destructive practices, Katran Foundation, a Kolkata based non-governmental organisation which was started in April 2018, has been stitching the leftover and rejected pieces of fabric from factories into garments for children in need.

Also Read: India At UN Security Council Calls On Countries To Fulfill Pre-2020 Climate Change Commitments

While speaking to NDTV, Ms. Vandana Jain, a founder of Katran Foundation said that the NGO is a step towards managing the textile waste which takes hundreds of years to decompose and end up polluting our land, rivers and oceans. She further said that waste cloth dumped into landfills can become hazardous when combined with other waste by becoming a breeding ground for bacteria and disease and choking risk for birds, animals and fish. Explaining about the initiative, Ms. Jain said,

Katran which means ‘scrap of cloth’ is an initiative to convert waste into wealth. It has stemmed out of our own textile and garment factory Onaya which specialises in women’s clothing. The idea was my husband’s when he observed how much cloth waste is generated in the factory every day. He decided to do something about it by making clothes for the poor out of the waste cloth. Me and my son also got involved in the initiative and that’s how we established ‘Katran’.

Till now, the NGO has distributed over 3,000 dresses for children in the age groups 6-12 years. Initially, the NGO partnered with other NGOs in Kolkata to distribute the clothes to underprivileged children. Now, the initiative has spread to many other cities across the country. Ms. Jain said,

We believe that every child is special, and we try to design clothes to celebrate their uniqueness.

Also Read: Reversing Global Warming: Bill Gates Talks About Ways To Reduce Pollution And Protect The Environment

According to Ms. Jain, from Onaya alone, a month of cloth waste can help create 100 dresses. The NGO get the raw material which basically includes waste cloth from various factories and the overall expense of one dress, from stitching to delivery, is about Rs. 200. Soon after the initiative was started, many family members, friends and neighbours became aware of it through the word-of-mouth who came forward to offer their support. The organisation also conducts crowdfunding campaigns to run the initiative.

Roma Bose, Education Coordinator, Rainbow Home at Loreto School, Kolkata where the NGO donated 80 dresses and 80 matching masks last month said,

Our Rainbow Home has about 80 underprivileged children. We provide them with food, clothes, shelter and education. When children received new dresses from Katran Foundation, they were filled with joy. Because the NGO had already asked us about the sizes of clothes required, the donated dresses fit perfectly well on them. Each child got matching facemasks also along with a dress. These little steps matter a lot in making a better world.

Also Read: Waste Segregation At Sets Can Make A World Of Difference, Says Actor Anushka Sharma

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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