By Manoj Pathak
Hajipur, April 24 (IANS): From waste to work of art… Fabrics and accessories made from banana trunk fibers are going global, thanks to the hard work of 34-year-old Vaishali Priya.
Vaishali Priya from Vaishali district in Bihar also teaches women business skills which makes them aatmanirbhar.
Usually, after harvesting bananas, the trunk is cut, but Priya not only extracts trunk fibers from the waste to make clothes, but also to make yoga and table mats, baskets, among others.
The products produced are also exported to the United States.
Vaishali, who did fashion design and worked in an export factory where she learned to make useful items from banana cloth.
After that, she quit her job, returned to her village and started making fabrics from banana fiber.
Speaking to IANS, Vaishali said she grew up watching people grow bananas. Previously, the banana trunk was cut and discarded, but now it is used to make fabric, she said.
Vaishali said that initially she instructed the women on how to make products from organic and natural fibers.
She said she was helped by local Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the project.
Initially, Vaishali started her business with 30 women from Hariharpur village.
“When I started this business, I encountered difficulties and criticism from many sides, but today, seeing the dividends I have earned, more and more people are partnering with me,” said Vaishali told IANS.
Here, women are taught about the specifics of soaking, weaving and processing clothes.
Vaishali said the women, from the comfort of their homes, make ropes from the fiber and earn Rs 300-500 a day.
She said she gets orders from various places and people like her products.
Although at present the products have not yet gained popularity, those who use them appreciate the effort and use, she claimed.
She said that to make better quality clothes, better techniques are now being used. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Hariharpur provided machines for the women working on the project.