As the Central Government is promoting startups nationally, the city youth got a chance to express their entrepreneurial skills at the Chennai Corporation’s Kuppai Thizhuvira.
On Sunday, Anna Nagar tower park was host to over 100 young entrepreneurs who showcased and sold products such as eco-toothbrushes, newspaper bags, wooden notebooks, glass lanterns, pillows made of cotton scrap and clay water bottles among others eco-friendly products.
Express spoke to various entrepreneurs who shared their experiences. Harika Balam, in her mid-twenties, brought atural floor-cleaners, toilet cleaners and liquid for washing clothes. ‘‘It is all made with citrus and jaggery. I take up fruit juice and mix with jaggery, letting it remain like that for two months. If we keep the bottle unopened for more days, the concentration becomes heavy and it can’t be used for washing toilet
floor too,’’ she says.
Whereas, for washing clothes, she mixes circus, jaggery with some amount of soap nuts. ‘‘It is all made in my house and I sell it through social media,’’ says Balam, who has named her start-up as ‘‘3-ree products -- for a greener environment.’’ She also makes brooms and small dust-cleaners using coconut husk fibres.
Wooden-notebooks and clay water bottles placed in the festival would not miss anybody’s attention. One year ago, Anjanakshi B and U Soundaryan, two architects in their early 20s, started ‘Wallistry’ - a small smart up to make clay bottles and design just after their finished college.
They make teakwood notebooks, terracotta cups, clay bottles and stonewares for houses. ‘‘We work with craftsmen and designers all over Tamil Nadu. The notebooks we make are of acid-free papers, which will last for 50 years,’’ says Anjanakshi.
The customized clay bottles cost about Rs 500 and notebooks cost Rs 450. They import it to all over India.
Food entrepreneurs too shared the stage to promote organic products.Giving free ‘Jaggery balls’ for people to taste was ‘Kamarakattu Srini’ (32). That’s how people call him, he says, as he has been making Kamarakattu (Jaggery balls), Moongdall and rice laddus.
‘‘I travelled with many organic farmers all over India to get recipes and learn from them. Then I buy it from then, make the organic products and sell it here,’’ says Srini.
He has been selling organic red rice, poongai rice, red jowar and other grains. ‘‘The health benefits of red rice is it reduces the risk of diabetes,’’ he says.
Niranjani Ramasubramaniyan (23), another young entrepreneur sold pillows made of scrap cotton. Inspired to become an entrepreneur, she started ‘Fray’ - a start up for customised designing along with her five friends two years ago.
‘‘We were passionate about the start-up. It has been going well for the past two years and now we also design clothes for ‘Mottai Madi Music’ - (the popular city based band) during their tours,’’ says
Niranjani. Also a designer of clothes, she advises people not to waste old clothes because it is stained.
‘‘We ask people to bring their stained clothes and paint on the stain to give a new design. I tell them not to throw it away,’’ adds Niranjani. ‘Fray’ can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Vidya Bhat, another artist, collects empty wine bottles from beaches and junk shops only to repaint it for home-decoration purposes. ‘‘We take up old vintage lanterns and give it connection to LED rope
bulb,’’ says Vidya.
‘‘It takes 2-3 days for me to paint the bottles and lanterns. Then, we put the LED bulbs inside, it becomes beautiful again,’’ she adds. Vidya’s art can be found on Instagram at @artschittaara.
The Kuppai Thiruvizha, which was aimed at promoting zero-waste and spreading awareness, had workshops and talks to curb the use of plastic and make the city Green.