A government official taking time out of his busy schedule to make soap! Sounds strange, but that is exactly what is happening at the Gandhi Bhavan here, where the Gandhi Centre for Rural Development is organising a ten-day training programme.
During the training programme, held in collaboration with the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Pradeep, who works at the Secretariat and other participants are given an in-depth training on the production of natural home-made products.
Pradeep, who is undergoing training in soap making says that these techniques are very simple and the products made are cost effective and chemical free.
“Not everyone can afford costly products that are available in the market nowadays. Also, the products are free of chemicals, and it is something that we ourselves make, evoking personal satisfaction,” he adds.
Like him, there are people across various backgrounds who have come to learn the techniques in making natural,homemade products.
Dr Jacob Pulickan, director of the Gandhi Centre for Rural Development insists on the need for natural products and its importance.
“Just as Mahatma Gandhi used salt during the pre-independence era as a symbol of self-dependence, we are using something as basic as soap to create an awareness against globalisation and to be self-reliant.
Materials which we neglect and throw away can be used as raw-materials for many products which we use daily such as soaps, detergents and even food products,” Pulickan says.
“Food products such as pickles and squash can be made very easily with these materials. It is very easy to make and contains no harmful ingredients at all. The response that we have received is tremendous. People from all walks of life have shown keen interest in these training programmes,” Jacob adds.
The Gandhi Centre for Rural Development is also conducting an exhibition-cum-sale of these natural homemade products where a variety of products such as pickles, squash, soaps are being sold.
“All the products that are sold here are made by the people who we trained in different units of Gandhi Centre for Rural Development across Kerala. Here itself, over 100 people have enrolled themselves for different training programmes,” says Jayshree, an official of the Gandhi Centre for Rural Development.