Mar 2024

Jayalakshmi's Journey Towards Climate Entrepreneurship

Author(s): Dainik Bhaskar

English Translation of the article: 

I started my journey as a daily wage earner, a tailor in a garment factory in Nelvagilu village. While I worked very hard and worked throughout the day to handle my responsibilities at the factory, my mind was always occupied with the debilitating conditions around me. I saw plastic everywhere – people mindlessly use plastic bags for every little thing, from the plastic waste covering the roads to the plastic waste littering the animals. When Buzz Women came to my village with its skills training programme, I felt determined to do something on my own. I wanted to do something not only to support myself and my family, but also to combat the problem of plastic waste. I realized that I had the power to change the behavior of those people and change the situation in my village. I was able to buy my own sewing machine and started making fabric bags. The first 50 bags I made I gave away for free. I wanted to change people's thinking and make them stop using plastic bags. I knew that once they saw the value of the cloth bag, they Will not return to plastic bags. And today, people come to me and ask to buy these bags for Rs 50. If I can convince 10 people in one day to switch from plastic to cloth bags, I feel like I've made a difference.

Today, I employ five women in my business and together we make uniforms and cloth bags for the village children. I am also the President of Stree Shakti Sangh, a self-help group, where I support other women to become entrepreneurs and respond positively to the climate crisis. I try to motivate people to change their behavior and become climate conscious by attending Panchayat meetings. Recently, I have asked people to stop buying meat in plastic bags. I make sure they bring their own boxes to the store. And the shopkeeper has told me that people from five tables have started coming with their own boxes. My village has also received the Adarsh ​​Gram Puraskar Model Village Award because together we have reduced plastic consumption and switched to sustainable alternatives. Her work is being done with the support of Buzz Women. Buzz is a member of the Women Climatrise Alliance.

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