Recycling saris turns into booming industry
One of the colonies, known for recycling saris, around Mehtab Bagh.
The trick is simple - old and used saris are turned into brand new products thanks to agile and artful hands that breathe life into a discarded six-yard wonder, even banarasis and kanjivarams.
Some call it imitation, but Surendra Singh Chandel, a local leader and activist, says it's not cheating. "After all, the recycled products are not being sold at exorbitant prices at showrooms. They mainly target the weaker sections and price it accordingly," Chandel told IANS.
The war against pollution, to save the Taj Mahal, halted the industrial development of Agra after the Supreme Court ordered closure of all polluting units in 1996. Iron foundries, glass units, brick kilns, chemical and textile industries had to bear the brunt. Many units found the transition to new technology financially unviable.
However, many enterprising workers who were left to fend for themselves found avenues for self-employment.
What began as an experiment in the trans-Yamuna area, a cluster of six villages, has now been transformed into colonies around Mehtab Bagh, right behind the Taj Mahal. It is a developed recycling industry that employs thousands of men, women and even children.