Students of Sundarbai Shasun Jain College teach slum women to make paper bags

A number of students from different city colleges have been part of a project which aims to give a fillip to the lives of the women in some slums in the city. Through ‘Khagith’ students of Shri Shankarlal Sundarbai Shasun Jain College for Women, T. Nagar, have taught women from the slums near Chintadaripet and Vyasarpadi to make paper bags. These women work as labourers or housemaids and have no stable income.

With plastic menace ever growing and considering its ill effects on the environment, the students felt that hand-made paper bags are the best alternatives as they are eco-friendly and at the same time durable. The paper bags are made with old newspapers and cardboards. A medium sized bag can easily withstand 2 kg of weight. To make the bags more attractive, the students used colour paper.

“One of our members identified the Chintadaripet slum. We also approached the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, which helped us reach women living in the Vyasarpadi slum. Altogether we trained over 40 women in the two areas,” says Preeti Jain, leader of the project.

The Jain College’s team will be taking its project to the regional round of SIFE competition which will be held on June 28. They will present fine details right from how they identified the deprived community, to the work they did with them, the financial aspect of the project and the environmental benefits. They will be judged on the project choice, on whether the community they have chosen is really deprived, and the impact of the project on that community. Winners of the regional level will participate in national-level competition, to be held in Mumbai, where a panel of judges will choose the team which will represent India in Washington. The winners of the international competition will receive the SIFE World Cup.

Akshaya, II year student of Computer Science and Vice-President of Jain College’s SIFE team says, “The competition helps create a sustained livelihood among deprived communities and at the same time help students build skills to become successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

Previous projects

The college has worked on four projects so far that have aimed at the betterment of many sections, including transgenders, destitute women and autistic children.

SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) conducts an annual series of regional and national competitions, in which participating students from various colleges form teams. They apply business concepts to develop projects that help improve the standard of living for people in need. SIFE provides a forum for these teams to present the results of their projects, and are evaluated by business leaders serving as judges.

SIFE, which is an international non-profit organisation, works with students to mobilise them to make a difference in their communities while developing skills to become responsible business leaders.

For purchasing and more details contact shasunsife@rocketmail.com.

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