KOCHI: An entrepreneur couple from Kasaragod has shone the torch on creative use of the forced break on account of the lockdown by producing 21 useful products from household waste through recycling and upcycling processes during phase I of the shutdown. They even titled the venture eponymously as the '21-days-challenge’.
Devakumar Narayanan and Saranya SV had launched ‘Papla’, a venture to develop products out of areca leaf sheaths, in December 2018 after chucking their engineering jobs in the UAE.
“It was meant to kill time as our production unit was forced to close during the lockdown. I used to get back from work pretty late and the sudden change was difficult. While I am with my parents in Nileshwar, Saranya is stuck at her home in Kollam as she went there before lockdown,” said Devakumar.
The positive response from their Facebook followers prompted them to complete the 21-days-challenge. “It wasn’t pre-planned. But we made sure that a variety of products were produced each day. If we created a copper wire tree one day, grinder stones were turned into dumbbells next up. Similarly, we came out with vegan milk using oats and bio-enzyme from lemons. All these were originated from materials available at home. We never had to venture out,” he said.
Saranya said they didn’t follow any tutorials while doing the challenge. “Each product was borne out of our morning thoughts. The aim is to become self-sufficient to the fullest extent possible and reduce our mental stress,” she said.
They have produced cloth bags, bottle vases, reusable cloth mask, plant holders from rubber tyres, rag wall hangings, coconut shell wall clock and much more. “Though we have achieved our primary goal, we are planning to continue the process every two days till the lockdown is lifted. The successful upcycling of cloth has given us the confidence to create products commercially. We hope many homemakers can also make a revenue out of it,” she added.
‘Papla’ has already partnered with Kasaragod district administration on several projects and made many products like chest badges from areca leaf sheaths for the last year's state school festival.