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Dress circle: Sari bank brings cheer to women of Gujarat's Anand district

This bank gets around 150 saris from abroad and as many from Bhadran and the villagers can take the saris on any auspicious occasion, wear it, dry-clean it and return it.

Published: 09th January 2022 11:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2022 11:07 AM   |  A+A-

The sari bank in Gujarat's Anand district and women who borrow those for special occasions

The sari bank in Gujarat's Anand district and women who borrow those for special occasions. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD: For Bhavna Ben of Bhadran village in Anand district, buying new expensive saris at the wedding function at home was a huge issue last year. The COVID-19 pandemic months saw the family income decline substantially.

Then somebody suggested they go to a 'sari bank' in Bhadran. The bank offers beautiful saris gratis with the only condition that these are cleaned and returned after use. 

"It was as if all happiness in the family had returned," said Bhavna as she and others in the family had their pick at the bank. The first-of-its-kind bank is by and for the villagers of Bhadran. It is funded by NRIs for poor, middle-class women. 

Nehali, who with other women runs the sari bank, says the response has been huge. "Our effort is to help those who have been experiencing financial hardships in the last two years due to the pandemic. It gives all members of the bank immense satisfaction when needy women are able to get special saris for auspicious occasions in their families," says Nehali.

This bank gets around 150 saris from abroad and as many from Bhadran. Villagers can take the saris on any auspicious occasion, wear it, dry-clean it and return it.

In the bank, a sari is credited to the user’s personal account. If the person returns the sari in good condition, the bank promises to give you 'credit' for next time. In other words, you get a credit score like a bank. 

Bhadran village elder Shaileshbhai Patel says when went to the US sometime back, he met Amarbhai Shah, a resident of Palanpur who had settled in America for many years. Amarbhai is a board member of Share & Care in America. "They asked me to set up such a bank in Bhadran. Upon my return from the US, I discussed the idea with villagers. They all agreed," says Shaileshbhai. 

The sari donors include NRIs from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The local contributors are the villagers from Bhadran and surrounding areas. "A woman living anywhere can deposit her sari. We want the needy to avail of the services," he says.



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