This Gujarat bizman makes profit from temple refuse, you can too
Each year, the Ambaji temple in Gujarat produces several tonnes of waste, including coconut husks, flowers and sacred scarves. But this waste is Manna from heaven for the local entrepreneur Hitendra Rami, who earns handsomely from it and is able to provide employment to others
Mithilesh Dhar 19 Aug 2019 11:13 AM GMT
Ranvijay Singh & Mithilesh Dhar Dubey
We often leave behind the husk of coconut in the temple premises after offering the coconut to the deity. Various articles of worship like flowers and sacred scarves also find their way to the trash can. An entrepreneur from Gujarat is making a handsome living out of these discarded articles and even more interesting is the fact that he gets paid by the temple authorities to pick up the waste.
Ambaji temple, situated in Banaskantha district in Gujarat, around 180 km from Ahmedabad, receives millions of devotees every year.
Each year, the temple produces several tonnes of waste, including coconut husks, flowers and sacred scarves. But this waste is Manna from heaven for the local entrepreneur Hitendra Rami, who earns handsomely from it and is able to provide employment to others.
A stone-throw distance from the temple is Hitendra Rami's shop named 'Nandavan'. Every article in the shop is fashioned out of temple-refuse.
Telling about his business, Hitendra said, "I have grown up watching the temple. Several devotees come here every year with plentiful offerings out of which some get left behind as refuse like coconut husks, rose, jasmine and marigold flowers etc. This used to get piled on in the temple premises."
He added: "This compelled me to do something and I talked to the temple authority about it. They agreed to pay me for picking up the temple refuse. I began by making things out of coconut shell. We earn uptoRs2,000 from the discarded shell of Rs20 coconut. Besides making Ganesh idols we also used coconut to make ladies purses, slippers and shoes."
Coconut Development Board has felicitated Hitendra Rami for his coconut idols of Lord Ganesha. Beginning with the coconut husk, the enterprise has progressed to manufacturing fragrant soap, rose water and fairness cream.
Hitendra informed that out of the enormous amount of flowers received from the temple he manufactures rose water and essence besides absolutely chemical-free soap of rose. He also makes ayurvedic soap and cream from Jasmine and Mogra.
The complete outfit of Hitendra engages about 300 people directly. Besides this is the association with the people with coconuts and various temple authorities. Hitendra said: "Soon after I began my business ran into trouble. With less volume of work in the beginning I used to manage on my own but as demand increased, I found it difficult to cope.Thereafter I engaged many people and trained them. Then I began purchasing from them. I organize workshops to train people and have visited several places to encourage people to take up this trade."
Nanadanvan retails things ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 5,000 in price. As per Hitendra, anyone can do this work. He himself buys goods from numerous other producers. He assures support to anyone pursuing this business.