Abha wanted to help in the tsunami effort and, because she has a unit working primarily with paper products, (Shradhanjali) she wanted to use these resources.
At the beginning of March she started collecting newspapers and magazines in Auroville and, with the support of Village Action, organized a group of interested women in Bommaiyarpalayam village. In the beginning the women were working in the Tsunami Relief office and then moved to larger location in the village.
She showed the women how to fold newspapers and magazines to make bags in various sizes and gave them ideas concerning the sales of the bags. Ten to fourteen women were trained. The bags are being sold to Pour Tous, Farm Fresh, Ganesh Bakery and other commercial units in Auroville. Shanthi and Gayathri from the Tsunami Relief office join them to train, to observe and to suggest solutions to any problems that arise but the group is now becoming self-organizing.
Originally they were supplied with the paper and the glue, and the bags are being distributed by Abha and Shanthi, but now the village women are paying for the materials out of their sales and will take the responsibility for the distribution as well. The atmosphere is relaxed and focussed. Already more than 7000 bags have been produced and sold.