When Gita Devi parcelled a basket made by her from plastic waste as a gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, little did the housewife from Samastipur in Bihar expect a reply from him. But the prime minister not only acknowledged the “amazing” gift but saw a “vast potential of small scale industry” in her craft and also an effective tool in his pet ‘Swachh Bharat’ project. Fifty-year-old Gita uses plastic waste like wrappers and polyethene to make vases, baskets and similar items.
Encouraged by her stepson Manoj Kumar Jha to gift a basket to Modi, she sent it to the prime minister’s office last month But to the extreme amazement and delight of the family, the prime minister replied to her today praising her effort. “I am very happy that Modi ji has replied to me,” she told PTI, hours after her family members read out the letter to her as she is unlettered.
“The idea of using plastic litter to create beautiful products is amazing. This is not only useful for the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign but also has vast potential for small scale industry,” Modi wrote to her. Gita is a housewife while her husband Ramchandra Jha is a farmer with a small landholding.
Her skilful use of waste is limited to a hobby and she has never thought of selling her work. “Now that we have got encouragement from none other than the prime minister, we feel it can be done. But we lack money to do any business. May be if we get a loan, we can do this,” her husband said.