Kerala Recycles Election Campaign Material To Create Bags, Clothes

In Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram's beach destination, a group of women at an NGO make around thirty carry bags every day.

Making bags and clothes out of campaign material is helping create job opportunities in Kerala.


With elections in Kerala being over, candidates have come out with innovative ways of recycling their campaigning materials with an aim to reduce waste - in accordance with the state's environment-friendly protocol during the polls. It has also created numerous employment opportunities.

In Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram's beach destination, a group of women at an NGO make around thirty carry bags every day. These bags are unlike the regular ones, they carry the Congress symbol, pictures of party leader Shashi Tharoor and also Rahul Gandhi.

At the Sebastian Indian Social Projects (SISP), material from Shashi Tharoor's election campaign, flex board clothes and shawls, are being recycled into carry bags.

"We pay these women 12 rupees per bag. The campaign materials are being brought here through an intermediary organization which will also buys all of these. This means recycling and reusing available materials and also creating employment generation", Mohan Kumar Nair, President of SISP told NDTV.

"We can make around 5,000 bags out of all the campaign materials. This opportunity has come to us at an important time. This is our lean period and income generation for women is low. Many of these women are from families of fishermen," Marina A, the institute's social employment unit coordinator said.


A bag with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's picture, created from recycled campaign material.

In Thiruvananthapuram, BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan's home has been transformed into a workshop, with volunteers converting thousands of shawls that he got from supporters, into bags and dresses. Flex board materials are being used to make grow bags for local organic cultivation.

"I have received around 98,000 shawls from supporters during my campaigns. I have kept each of them carefully. Now they are being converted into value added products like kurtas, dresses and bags. We will distribute this freely among those who can't afford such clothes. Even various organsiations have offered to take up the final products made by all these volunteers", Kummanam Rajasekharan told NDTV.

"We are volunteering here for free. This is not paid service. We believe in the party and we also believe that we have a responsibility towards the society", one of the women volunteers making children's clothes said.

Election in Kerala were held in a single phase on April 23. The results will be announced on May 23.

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