CHENNAI: The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) faculty was godsend for this group of women from Kannagi Nagar. But then the floods came and the NIFT initiative to train them in production and sale of products from plastic wastes came to a halt.
Now, almost a month later, things are slowly getting back on track. “It was a terrible time... As we had no jobs all this while, this project came as a beacon of hope to us and we were gearing up for the next training. But the rain ruined it all. Finally after a month of struggle, we are back to normal,” said Rukmini, a resident of Kannagi Nagar.
Another resident S Latha recalled how the families in the area lost everything to the floods. “Our families did not know where to go and what to do as there was not enough money. We still don’t have any money. But I am sure that once the classes begin, everything will be back to normal,” she added.
A few months ago, NIFT associate professor Kaustav Sengupta and his wife Shaswati had decided to help the underprivileged women to learn and earn from creative expression through products and paid art project.
Their organisation, InkLink Charitable Trust, enrolled about 20 women under the project.
“We were going to involve them in making daily use products, laptop bags, coasters and other innovative products with plastic and sell them to corporates.
However, when the rains poured heavily, it not only took away their belongings, but also broke their confidence,” Sengupta told Express.
On Friday, the couple visited Kannagi Nagar and provided books, stationery and gifts to over 50 affected children and presented new project ideas to the women.
“We have got 15 more paid art projects for them to work on, from a few corporate firms. We will start their classes tomorrow (on Saturday). This will be better than before,” said Kaustav.
After the floods, more women have come forward to be a part of the project. “There are several women wanting to join, especially after the rains,” said Rukmini.