Traveling alone could be challenging sometimes but at the same time, it shows you the pure meaning of exploring. Being alone in a new place it forces you to be more curious about the people and more open to their culture.
Vizag was a destination about relaxing and enjoying the sun but still, the universe wanted to hear people’s stories here even if I didn’t have any contact or purpose for exploring. After a day full of confusion, getting a little bit lost and not finding people that speak English, I met Patna in a Hindu temple.
First of all, I felt lucky that I’ve met the first person of that day speaking English and she came to me open to explain to me that she recently found out that her ancestors helped to build that temple. All my crazy, exhausting day suddenly became better.
But this wasn’t all, she actually is an environmental activist and her dream is to open a green school. She is an inspirational person, very perseverent in trying to change mindsets and creating a healthy environment for future generations.
Her latest project was about reducing the use of plastic bags by replacing them with clothes bags made by people from tribal communities. She realized that the temples are using a lot of plastic too from people that are bringing gifts and fruits inside. In the same time, they give clothes and sarees to the temples. Her idea was to collect these clothes and to train some people from the tribes to stick to clothes bags. These bags were sent back to the temples and given to people for being used instead of plastic bags.
Her adventure began with a trip around Araku Valley where coincidentally she found a tribal village. Patna was interested in finding more about their way to live and she found two tailors Suri and Krishna. She gave them a short training, showing them little cutting and stitching just on road. She bought them a mobile sewing machine and started to bring the clothes from the temples. In three months, they distribute around 20000 bags to the temples.
Her wish is to continue to collaborate with the tribal communities and to make them autonomous. She wants to provide them a machine to make natural oil from mustard seeds. She is alone in this initiative and she would need more help to put her plans in action.
I was touched to hear her story and to see her excitement in doing good deeds. I realized that my beautiful India has wonderful people with good initiatives that became examples for me.