Used diyas that were discarded after last year’s Diwali are now being recycled by a group of youngsters in Chandigarh to sell the them and raise funds to support the education of underprivileged students.
The youngsters had collected over 35,000 used diyas that were left outside the houses in the city’s various localities post Diwali night in 2019. The group also includes the students who had earlier rendered their service to the local Red Cross Society for cremating Covid-19 bodies.
One of the members of the group, Rohit says that they make wax diyas and paint them to create designer diyas out of the used ones.
“People would throw away the diyas after lighting them on Diwali night. So last Diwali we collected around 35,000 diyas and our teams segregated the ones that could be re-used. After segregation there were around 20,000 diyas that were left. We first washed them nicely. One team washed the diyas, one painted them and the other used wax.”
Some of the volunteers who work at private companies gave in double the hours they had promised to make these diyas. “Like today, Sunday night, we all will work overnight to paint these diyas. As Diwali is just few days ahead, we will quickly finish the work,” he said.
Of the total amount collected after selling these diyas, 40 per cent will go to the volunteers and 60 per cent to aide the education for those facing a financial crisis.
“Especially at this time, when people are struggling with expenses and many migrant labourers have also lost their jobs, they don’t have money to pay for their kids’ education. So we are funding it from 60 per cent of the sale amount,” added 24-year-old Pradeep Kumar Verma who also volunteers at the group’s workshop in Khuda Ali Sher village.
The youngsters had undertaken the cause last year as well, after collecting earthen lamps following Diwali festivities in 2018. Last year, the group had collected Rs 50,000 by selling the recycled diyas.
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