With many across the country striving for sustainability and combating wastage, yet another brilliantly creative use of garbage has been found by Varanasi’s Shikha Shah. She has founded a startup, Scrapshala, in an effort to clear garbage and waste from the city and transform it into something completely new. Her unique company draws inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Startup India’ initiatives. Shikha says,
Modi’s Startup India vision has transformed the thinking of everyone, from people living in the cities to those living in the villages.
After completing her graduation in Environmental Science from Delhi, nature-loving Shikha began working. Through her job, Shikha was given an opportunity to work on various projects, where she realised that many people do not care about the environment. It seemed to her that people had forgotten its importance. This motivated her to quit her well-paying job to start a business that could spread the message of cleanliness in society as well as help the unemployed.
Shikha says that she used the garbage from her house in the first phase. Her next step was to go to the municipal corporation and use the waste there to design beautiful things. These crafts are so visually stunning that it is unbelievable that they have been created from everyday garbage dumped in the dustbin. Her knack for turning clutter into useful, gorgeous things has made her business grow. The knickknacks made by Scrapshala are sold across the world through sites like Facebook and Snapdeal.
She is now on a quest to find a perfect location for her workshop. In order to fulfil her desire to help the unemployed, Shikha will open outlets all over Varanasi and teach people the necessary skills to convert trash to market-worthy items. The people being trained will also receive a salary to learn the skill.
When it comes to realising her own dreams and propagating her message in society, Shikha has been quite successful. She started her journey alone two years ago. However, she is followed by a train of people today, one that is only growing bigger with time. Through her talent, determination, and hard work, she has helped more than half a dozen unwaged people get back on their feet.
The number of people Shikha is training is only increasing with time. These trainees are paid over Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 as salary. The workers employed by her are content and happy as they are able to support their families with ease with this new opportunity.
Scrapshala has left many amazed, as they find it hard to believe that the useless garbage they sell or throw away has given birth to such a successful business. There is a dire need for more young people like Shikha who endeavour to gain success through the betterment of society.
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