Praveen Chauhan, a Bihari social entrepreneur is recycling flowers offered at Mahabodhi Temple for dying Khadi Clothes

There are so many times when we see something being wasted and we pressurize our minds about if can make something useful and creative of it. But only few of us can develop something useful out of it. Well we know someone having the exact profile who is also making us Biharis proud at international level through his innovative ideas.

Praveen Chauhan is a Gaya-based social entrepreneur and designer. He in cooperation with all his artisans has founded a social enterprise named MATR (मातृ). As the name itself suggests the maternal aspect of care and hard work, MATR aims to promote the skills of local Artisan communities to produce high quality Khadi fabrics and garments for national and international designers and retail brands that utilize the traditional skills. They use natural resources throughout their production to promote environmentally responsible initiatives for a sustainable future. This provides their artisan groups to have a better sense of consumer market with increased production volumes.

Recently Praveen Chauhan shifted to Bihar to revive Khadi in all those parts of state where weavers encountered problems like unawareness about market trends, lack of innovative designs, outdated looms, insufficient quantity and poor quality of yarn. These aspects thwarted the exportation of Khadi . In order to uplift the Khadi sector, these issues are being resolved with government support.

The Happy Hands Project is an initiative started in collaboration between MATR and Because of Nature, Australia to bring sustainable employment to the people through Natural dyes on Khadi made in Bihar.

Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed between the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee and The Happy Hands Project in regard to the collection and use of used Temple flowers for Natural Dye.

Also Read: Did you know George Orwell had his roots in Bihar?

The main purpose of this project is to utilize flowers being offered at Mahabodhi temple during prayers and decorations that were left unused and discarded after use. With the support of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, The Happy Hands Project will be providing employment opportunities to around 50 under privileged women by using those flowers to create natural dyes. BTMC will be allowing MATR and Because of Nature through The Happy Hands Project to collect those flowers which are left unused after offering in temple. This is the responsibility of MATR representative to collect these flowers from temple and transport to their unit for further use.

This MoU is not a commitment of funds so, all the expenditure and wages will be taken care by MATR and Because of Nature to make The Happy Hands Project successful.

This project aims to promote the skills of Artisan communities who employ traditional cultural skills and to support these artisans to present high quality Khadi fabrics, garments and textiles for the national and international markets, aiming for designers and retail brands who appreciate the culture and historical value of these unique traditional skills. Also now Gaya will have something creative to offer to all the foreign nationals and tourists so that next time when they visit Mahabodhi Temple they can take the essence of Gaya with them.

Mahabodhi temple has been a major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists for well over two thousand years, and some elements probably date to the period of Ashoka (died c.232 BCE).This is the very first time something like this is happening in the history of Mahabodhi temple.  Praveen Chauhan is being applauded for this kind step and its refreshing break from past and contemporary inclusiveness that it offers to the consumers. His true dedication has brought Bihar Khadi very famous in Australia, London, Newyork, Milan, Paris and other places which are very rich in Fashion and Lifestyle.


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Quote of the day: “Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don't even notice it.” 
― Sakyong Mipham

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Mayank Jha

Mayank Jha is a 20 something years old content writer and an English major. A writer by day and reader by night, he is loathe to discuss about himself but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.