Nothing in this world is ‘junk’ or ‘worthless’. What is ‘junk’ for you may be a means of employment for someone else. The most interesting thing is that many people in our country are showing this truth by doing this. Today we are introducing you to Shikha Shah of Varanasi, who has been making useful things by reshaping ‘junk’ for the last five years. In addition, she is also employing about 15 people from her scrap business.
The brand name of Shikha, 32, is – Scrap school. Through this, she creates a variety of products and makes them available to the customers. In addition to pen stands, bamboo toothbrushes, nameplates, home-decors, she also makes upcycled furniture when orders are received. Such as making a stool chair or table from old tires etc. A graduate from Delhi University, Shikha never thought of doing business. But, it is said that life does not work according to you. Sometimes your experience determines the direction of your future.
Something similar happened with Shikha. She said that she did a masters in water science management after graduation. She then worked with organisations such as Reliance Foundation. She said, “During all this, I saw the problem of garbage in general. I got to learn a lot during my work. And from there, I also thought that I should do something for waste management. ” In this episode, Shikha also got an opportunity to work with the incubation cell of IIT Madras.
Starting at her home:
Shikha returned to her home town of Varanasi in 2016. There was a problem with garbage here too, but She understood one more thing: people keep a lot of waste in the corner of their house. Because the Indian thinking of reusing old things does not let them throw away anything easily, this thinking can only work if this waste is used correctly. Shikha started it from her home. She tried to reshape them by painting some glass bottles she had kept in his house.
She explains, “It took me several months to become a master of this art. But there was so much that I could understand things by looking at what could be made from them. Varanasi is a city of art. Here you will find more than one artisan in every street. But the easier it was to see these artisans, the more difficult it was to keep them with them. ”
With an investment of around 15 thousand rupees, Shikha started her scrap business, Scrap Shala. They bought old things from the junkmen. Some people even gave him useless old things lying in his house. Shikha says that it was tough to do all this initially because it is a very disorganised area. You do not even know what you are going to make with the things you are bringing. Then it wasn’t easy to convince the craftsmen they hired initially that someone would buy these new types of products made by them.
She said, “At first, many artisans came and went. However, giving up was not an option. So, I kept trying and started new things as many women started telling me that they have to learn to recycle old-useless things into new things. Therefore, I started different workshops—for example, some workshops with children, some, especially with women. Our workshop idea worked, and it was through these workshops that we started getting customers as well. ”
Before the Corona epidemic, Shikha used to do about four-five workshops every month. In addition to the city’s schools, colleges, she has also collaborated with many social organisations. Shikha teaches people how to make valuable things by recycling their home glass, plastic or clothing in these workshops. However, she is currently doing workshops online, and some time ago, she also did a workshop to make organic colours of Holi at home.
Beautiful things made from garbage from home to café-hotel:
Shikha and her team have made thousands of different products in their scrap business so far. They have divided all their products into different categories. Such as home use products, garden decor, café decor, landscaping items, handmade jewellery, etc. Apart from this, she also makes things according to the order of the customers. She and his team have also decorated many small and large cafes in the city. Shivansh Chauhan, an artisan from her scrap business, ScrapShala, says he has always wanted to work in the creative field.
he said, “I joined ScrapShala thinking that I will get a chance to show my art here.” This has also happened. Today, when I see the uncapped decor items I have made in different cafes, it is a great pleasure. ” All the artisans working with Shikha have their own identity. Some do the woodwork in the best way, and some give a stunning appearance to the tire. Shikha says that they have garbage items coming from different places.
These things are cleaned first. Then their team meet and discuss how and what products they can make from them. Once designed, the work of creating products begins. Once the products are ready, they are sent to customers. Every month they receive around 200 orders from different corners of the country. Many people have now become their regular customers as well.
A regular customer of ScrapShala, Kumar Mangalam Choudhary, says that she has been using upscale products of ScrapShala for two-three years. His products are excellent in terms of quality. The best thing is that all things are eco-friendly. Buying a product from here means that you are taking a great step towards protecting the environment.
Shikha says that she started this Scrap Business keeping the environment in mind. But today, through this, she is also changing the attitude of people towards the scrap. At the same time, she can give respectable employment to many people. The annual turnover of the scrap shop today is more than 10 lakh rupees. She further plans to start a workshop in Scrapshala in Delhi as well.