BANGALORE: An exhibition of products straight from the hills of Uttarakhand is on at Basava in Basavanagudi till September 13. Organised by Avani, an organisation involved in the conservation of natural resources, the exhibition of natural products aims to reinforce the philosophy of natural living.
A wide range of products that include hand-spun textiles like saris, stoles, shawls, jackets and art supplies made from natural dyes will be showcased at the exhibition.
Avani was founded by Rashmi Bharti and Rajnish Jain in 1997 to revive and promote traditional craft-based and farm-based activities using sustainable methods while creating livelihood opportunities through development and dissemination of appropriate technologies.
Says Rashmi, “Our primary objective is to sustain rural people by helping them earn a livelihood through traditional crafts. At the same time, we ensure that our products reduce the ecological footprint and do not impact soil and water in the region adversely. Our philosophy is to build a clean, green product.”
The entire cycle of production, Rashmi states, is environment-friendly, beginning with the planting of trees, sericulture, spinning, weaving and natural dyeing, to using solar power, only clean energy is used to make the products.
For instance, for the production of textile, the artisans use local materials for natural dyes and luxury fibres such as hand-spun Tibetan wool, wild silks and linen. They also produce crayons which are completely natural and non-toxic, making them safe for kids.
Explains Rashmi, “They are handmade from local materials, using pure beeswax and natural pigments such as Eupatorium, Walnuts and Madder. So it is safe to use unlike the crayons that are widely available in the market.”
Rashmi rues that the urban populace is slowly turning towards using products which are laden with chemicals. Through the exhibition, she hopes to reach out to a larger audience in Bangalore to educate them about the uses of natural products.
She avers, “We want to start a dialogue with them about why they should use organic products. For instance, why soapnut is better and ecologically sustainable than the expensive detergents that they normally use or why organic handmade toys for kids are better than plastic toys. This exhibition will serve as a conversation starter.”