Project Concept Note (PCN) – मेरा रंग दे बसंतीझोला
This year I have spent around 15000 Rupees on Plastic bags for use at my Cracker Shop just for Diwali season. On an
average I have spent around 40000 rupees in the past one year on plastic bags for use in my shop. This is because I
do not want to lose business from carless customers who do not carry their own bags while shopping. Though I have
not started charging for giving out plastic carry bags till date but I have also seen to it that there is no dent in my
profits due to spending on plastic bags.
Most business in Kalyan today gives out plastic bags. We are unquestioning of our habit to use those. Customers
consider having an extra plastic bag as their birthright. Business gives out these very liberally. They do not charge for
that, but see to it that the expense is recovered from the trade. If my small seasonal business spends this criminal
amount on plastic carry bags I can only give a wild guess as to how much plastic is wastefully needed by other more
prosperous businesses in Kalyan.
We are consuming plastic at a never before growth rate. Though some conservative old generations Elders have been
using there own cloth bags for shopping, it is not a favorite trend in the current generation. If the practice of using
cloth stitched bags is not seen by the future citizens of our country the practice will get extinct in some years.
If we need to be sustainable in our shopping practices we need to change the habits of the present generation. Only
if the future generation i.e. our children see us using cloth stitched bags will they ask about the paradigm shift, and
we will get an opportunity to explain them about sustainability. Not just in shopping practice but in various other
things and activities.
One sturdy, stitched cloth bag for example can be used 100 times at least which means 100 times less plastic use,
hundred opportunities to explain to our kids the importance of sustainability. It might cost us 25 to 30 rupees as one
time cost but it can save us Rs. 500, as a recurring cost. So not only this practice is environmentally sustainable but
most critically makes a good economic sense too.
If Rotary takes an initiative to popularize these sturdy, stitched, beautifully designed, researched, specially branded,
advertised, manufactured by needy economically weaker sections of the society cloth bags in the market of Kalyan, I
am sure it will be a worthwhile project which if meticulously worked out can also be a fundraising project. Not only
we be doing a good project but it will be sustainable one too.
To brief, keep a target of 100000 Eco bags (potentially replacing 1 Cr. Plastic bags). Get them made by Mahila
Mandal/ Cooperatives / NGO’s / Needy Tailors (Shimpy Samaj) etc…get cloth and other material in bulk, distribute
them in these cooperatives/ Mandal/ NGO’s etc. get the bags designed & printed, sell advertisement space on these
bags to Banks, Corporate, Shops etc., sell these bags to at least 200 shopkeepers in Kalyan (I am sure each one will
need at least 5000 Bags going by their customer base). These shopkeepers will have to charge their customers one
time (give the profit earned while charging for these Eco Bags to Rotary). Rotary conducts a yearlong campaign
(Named – मेरा रंग दे बसंती झोला) for inspiring citizens to use these bags through media. Make it a continual project
just as like Pulse Polio drive, blood donation & Medical Checkup camps. Start a Journey towards sustainability.
Fellows, do you agree? What’s your say?
Rtn. Amit Gopal Chauhan, R C Kalyan