Saree Bank: Women of Gujarat Unique Initiative
This bank gets around 150 sarees from abroad and as many from Bhadran and the villagers can take the sarees on any auspicious occasion, wear it, dry-clean it and return it. An Article by By Dilip Singh Kshatriya Express News Service
GUJARAT: Saree Bank Women of Gujarat, for Bhavna Ben of Bhadran village in Anand district, buying new expensive sarees at the wedding function at home was a huge issue last year. The COVID-19 pandemic months saw the family income decline substantially.
Then somebody suggested they go to a ‘saree bank’ in Bhadran. The bank offers beautiful sarees gratis with the only condition that these are cleaned and returned after use. Saree Bank Women of Gujarat
“It was as if all happiness in the family had returned,” said Bhavna as she and others in the family had their pick at the bank. The first-of-its-kind bank is by and for the villagers of Bhadran. It is funded by NRIs for poor, middle-class women. Saree Bank Women of Gujarat
Nehali, who with other women runs the saree bank, says the response has been huge. “Our effort is to help those who have been experiencing financial hardships in the last two years due to the pandemic. It gives all members of the bank immense satisfaction when needy women are able to get special sarees for auspicious occasions in their families,” says Nehali.
This bank gets around 150 sarees from abroad and as many from Bhadran. Villagers can take the sarees on any auspicious occasion, wear it, dry-clean it and return it.
In the bank, a saree is credited to the user’s personal account. If the person returns the saree in good condition, the bank promises to give you ‘credit’ for next time. In other words, you get a credit score like a bank.
Bhadran village elder Shaileshbhai Patel says when went to the US sometime back, he met Amarbhai Shah, a resident of Palanpur who had settled in America for many years. Amarbhai is a board member of Share & Care in America. “They asked me to set up such a bank in Bhadran. Upon my return from the US, I discussed the idea with villagers. They all agreed,” says Shaileshbhai.
The saree donors include NRIs from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The local contributors are the villagers from Bhadran and the surrounding areas. “A woman living anywhere can deposit her saree. We want the needy to avail of the services,” he says. Read more such stories on our blog or visit our store.