Women self-help groups in Ganjam making flags in bulk


Berhampur: Sarita Pradhan is in a race against time and has been working relentlessly to stitch tricolours in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

The 30-year-old secretary of a tailoring group at Podamari in Sanakhemundi block, around 35 km from district headquarters Berhampur, needs to complete the work by Tuesday.

She is among the around 700 members of women self-help groups (WSHGs) in 14 out of 22 blocks in the district who have been engaged in making 2.50 lakh national flags

The tricolours will flutter from all government buildings across the district to mark the 75-year celebration of the Independence, chief development officer Keerthi Vasan said.

It will also earn a good amount for the WSHGs and its members, Vasan said.

Madhumita, president of the Jay Bajarangi tailoring producers’ group, said it received an order to stitch 5,000 national flags, each of which is 20 x 30 inches in size.

“All the flags will be completed before August 9 and produced before the district administration. We have engaged 32 members to meet the target,” Madhumita said, hoping to complete the lot in time.

The WSHGs are part of the Mission Shakti, which seeks to empower women through various socio-economic activities.

District project coordinator Saswat Sahoo said the work was distributed among 60 WSHGs, which have been asked to complete their work by August 9 so that it can be produced before the administration.

The initiative is part of the Union government’s campaign to hoist the national flag at every home from August 13-15 to mark the 75th year of independence.

The WSHG members have procured the fabrics from the markets. The Flag Code of India has been amended to allow the use of machine-made and polyester flags, triggering protests from various quarters, including traditional weavers.

During the first wave of Covid-19, the WSHGs had helped the district administration by producing around 70,000 masks, district project manager Nabin Senapati said.

In the last two years, they also produced the uniforms for the Anganwadi students across the district, Senapati added.


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