Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 ways to share a sari and make a difference this festival season

What’s not to love about the festive season? The laddoos and the lights, the sparklers and the smiles, holidays and wholesome fun. And for some of us, it’s also about new saris for ourselves and new outfits for the entire family.

While I’m not sure whether I can stop myself from splurging on a handloom sari this season, what I can promise is to make place for the new six yards by giving away at least one gently-used sari. And this time, not to the maid, who I realize has enough and more, but to a woman in a remote village whose ‘wardrobe’ is the only sari on her back.

Sitting here in my house with all the comforts of a modern life, and trunks full of gorgeous saris, I can’t imagine what it must be like to not have enough – not enough food to fill one’s belly, not enough clothes to cover up one self, not enough money to buy even the most basic of needs. But if I can make just a little difference to someone’s situation, add a little sparkle to someone’s life, then let it be through something I love and cherish so much – a sari. A sari that I’ve loved, a sari that I don’t wear anymore. A sari that will offer a shred of dignity to a woman who is struggling to cover herself up with the only tattered sari that she owns.

If this is something that you’ve been thinking of doing – sharing a sari (especially, after sorting & sifting through your saris last week), then here are some good ways to do so.

1. Join the ‘Your Saree for Dignity’ Campaign by Goonj. You could start a sari collection drive in your locality or even share a few of your own. While parting with several of your saris may seem heart wrenching, all of us can share at least one sari that we’ve not worn for ages. Goonj sends these saris to women in remote villages, who welcome them with wide smiles and open arms.

If you wish to send your saris directly to the Goonj’s various dropping center, here is the list of places:

Contact Goonj: For more information, email them at or call them up at 011-26972351.   .

Sister Lucy with women at Maher

2. Donate your gently-used saris to destitute women's homes across India. If you’re in Pune, you could get in touch with Maher, a group of homes for destitute women, young un-wed mothers and mentally-challenged women that’s run by Sister Lucy Kurien. Saris are what most women wear and it’s the most challenging to source in urban India, considering that a lot of us wear salwar-kameez, trousers and skirts more frequently in our daily life, and thus, that’s what we donate to organizations. 

Contact Maher: Email Maher at  or get in touch with Mita Banerjee, who runs Team Miracle that works closely with Maher and will help coordinate this sari drive in Pune. Email Mita Banerjee of Team Miracle at or call up at 09850309598.

Image source: Craft Canvas

3. Share your saris with women in tribal areas through self-help organizations that work with them. If you’re living/working in Pune, and looking for another organization to donate your saris to, you might want to think of Poornam, that’s run by Dr. Rajesh Manerikar that works to improve the environment through several ways + helps women in tribal areas through self-help programs and resources.

Contact Poornam: Email Arundhati or Dr. Rajesh at or call them up at 94053-91980. Alternatively, contact Mita Banerjee of Team Miracle who is coordinating the sari drive for Maher and Poornam in Pune. Her email id is and phone number is 09850309598.

Nalini at the clothes bank in Hyderabad; Image source: Outlook

4. Share your saris with a clothes bank in your city. Here’s one run my Nalini Gangadharan in Hyderabad. While they welcome all kinds of gently-used apparel, it’s saris that they find difficult to source.

Contact Nalini: Email Nalini at or call up at 040-3414603.

Vandana Agarwal at the sari library; Image source:

5. How about sharing a sari with a sari library? Yes, a sari library that rents out the most beautiful saris to women from the lower-income group for a mere Rs 20. This way, expensive saris are not just for women who can afford to buy them, but the beauty and joy of a gorgeous sari is shared with every woman who dreams of wearing one but can’t afford the cost. Vandana Agarwal from Gramshree in Ahmedabad has started two such libraries in the city – one in Ranip and the other in Chandlodia, and is planning to spread the sari love by opening a third library. They could always use more saris from generous sari lovers.

Contact Vandana: Email Vandana at or call up at 079-32954140. You could visit them at Gramshree, 4th Floor, Shoppers Plaza, Opposite Municipal Market, CG Road, Ahmedabad.

With the Joy of Giving Week kicking off on October 2 through October 8, 2016, here’s a great way to not only share some of that abundance, but also ring in the festival season by spreading love and cheer.

If you have any questions about how to go forward with this, email me at

How are you planning to share a sari this season?

Join us on our #share1saripact to spread some sari love.

And for regular blog updates, hop across to our Facebook Page!

#share1saripact #shareasari #100sareepact #joyofgiving #joyofgivingweek #handloomsari #saree #sari



  1. Lovely idea and I want to participate this season.

  2. Fantastic! Thanks for this valuable info. Will connect with either of them to donate my saris. Thank you.


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