In the current scenario of cutting down on plastics, the women of the Dabolim Mahila Paper Bag Masters need to be lauded for making paper bags. The women from the group make a range of eco-friendly and biodegradable paper bags, thus controlling the consumption of plastics which are a cause of concern for everyone.
The Dabolim Mahila Paper Bag Masters (DMPBM), a small scale industry was commissioned some two years ago on March 8, 2016 on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The paper bag unit is based at new-Vaddem, Vasco. At the initial stage, about 10 women ventured into the paper bag making business and they dedicatedly manufactured paper bags of different sizes and patterns. With training these women are currently experts in making variety of screen painting logos which are given shape onto the exposure and dryer machine. Besides they are also experts in hand screen printing and folding the variety of papers on creasing machine.
Speaking to the president of Dabolim Mahila Group and the incharge of DMPBM who handles the operation and sales, one discovers that, the group is made up of housewives from Dabolim who are unemployed but members of several self help groups to earn a livelihood.
“The unit manufactures eco-friendly products. The main aim of making the paper bags is to wipe out the plastics”, said Thorat, adding that, the the unit also has a motto behind it. Its message to society is, ‘Say no to plastics- Be eco- friendly to save our planet earth. Save Nature for a Safe Future”. “The unit also works to make Dabolim and Goa free from plastics”, says Thorat.
She points out that the materials used for manufacturing the paper bags are imported from various parts of India and even from Europe and Russia. “The paper bag manufactured by the women at the unit gives quality product to the customers which ranges from Rs 5 to Rs 150 per bag which depends upon different sizes and variety”, adds Thorat.
She informs that, the unit does not compromise with the quality and as such within the two years of the formation of Dabolim Mahila Paper Bag Masters, it has achieved “heights of success.” Explaining that, the unit has advanced machineries, Thorat says, “ The quality of products manufactured by our unit will not be found anywhere in India.” The unit sells that bags to more than 100 fixed clients who include garments shops, hotels and jewelers.
Orders are received not only from Mormugao taluka but also from all parts of Goa and neighboring states. Further, the unit also receives online orders from customers. Some of the clients include, Lotlikar Jewelers, Wando, Hotel Bogmalo Beach Resort, Mormugao Municipal Council, Pastry Shops, Fashion Designer Verma D’Mello, Vasco Sports Club, Mathuradas Jeweler, Noorjahan and Sons. Besides orders are also received from garment and cosmetic shops, birthday party celebrations and during Christmas, Diwali, Latini, house warming, among other events.
Thorat points out that, the Vasco Sports Club orders more than 5,000 paper bags for the last two years for their annual Goa River Marathon event. It is a big achievement for women of the unit whose quality work is recognized by the organizers and the athletes participating in Goa River Marathon from all parts of the world.
The quality of the unit is also recognized by the Directorate of Panchayat wherein the department
orders hundreds of paper bags on the occasion of ‘World Environment Day. The unit also sold variety of paper bags during the Shree Damodar Bhajani Saptah celebration last year. “We received good response from the people and devotees participating in the Saptah fair,” says Thorat.
The unit is due for an expansion in capacity in the near future which will give more unemployed women an opportunity to work and financial self-sufficiency. Efforts are on for space at IDC Verna for new unit and becoming a large-scale manufacturer of paper bags.
The unit caters to all types of customers. The women employed in the unit earn their livelihood and support their families. There are over 300 SHGs registered from around Dabolim constituency who are a part of the unit. Thorat discloses that, Mauvin Godinho, panchayat minister is backbone of DMPBM who guided local women to start the paper bag unit. “Few years before it was just a dream of a women run paper bag unit, but toady the dream is come true, say members who are led by Thorat.