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    Why you need to know about the White Rainbow Project and raid your closets this weekend

    Life has come full circle for a pre-loved turquoise blue silk sari that was donated by a Chennaiite as part of a sari donation drive held last year. The sari, collected by not-for profit White Rainbow Project, was upcycled into an evening dress, which eventually won a sari design challenge held among designers in California. The evening dress — along with other garments created from saris, and some jewellery — will be brought back to the city this Saturday, as part of the next sari collection drive. Held for the second consecutive year at Maalgaadi, the only sari collection centre for the project, Maalgaadi’s co-founder, Shahin Ansari, says we can expect beaded jewellery using paper, wood and metal beads, and kimonos- upcycled from saris. Artwork portraying the plight of the widows in Vrindavan, infamously described as the City of Widows, by artist Anbu Jacob, will also be auctioned at the event. A short film of the work done by the organisation will be screened, too. With over 200 saris collected last year, they are planning on making this an annual event, she informs us.

    pg23-4Greater good
    For the US-based White Rainbow Project (registered as Open Home in India), which trains widows in Vrindavan to upcycle the saris into scarves and bags, the fashion contest is an initiative to spread awareness about the cause. “The contest winner, Madison Acri, also gets to visit India, meet the widows and teach them some sewing techniques,” explains Katherine Gilliam, a US-based volunteer. “The work done by White Rainbow Project is an initiative to socially accommodate widows, who are often ostracised even by their kin, and to give them a means of livelihood,” explains Asha Jacob, who manages the centre in India, along with her husband James Jacob. White Rainbow Project is an initiative by US-based couple Linda and Dharan Mandrayar, since 2010.

    The event is at 6 pm tomorrow at Maalgaadi, 4th Main Road, Besant Nagar. Details: 42103242

    —Sharadha Narayanan

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