KANCHANA Moodliar, the founder of 'Saris for Good Karma Project' was awarded the 2011 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy last Tuesday at the 5th annual National Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town. The award recognizes exceptional people who have made a contribution towards building and improving society through their personal financial commitments which Moodliar has done with Saris for Good Karma. Moodliar initiated this project in June 2010 to inspire women from poor communities with little education to develop skills to make money.
Her aim was to create a self-employed sewing community of women in Chatsworth using old saris donated from the Indian community to make pillow cases, table clothes and many other designer items. Moodliar has got her whole company and much of her business network behind the project, persuading young designers to give off their time and expertise to help train the women in sewing, beading and business skills She also makes sure every participant receives a free 'fashion designer pack" which includes everything from cotton to sewing machines. Speaking to the Eastern Express Moodliar said, "Being given this award was totally unexpected. I was up against a lot of competitors, and I am overwhelmed that I have won. "I hope that my achievements can inspire the youth of the community to also 'give', be it their time, skills development or any thing they can. We are all working for the greater good; a community that works together can stay humbly together."
Moodliar added, "I would also like to encourage Indian women with unwanted saris to donate them to 'Saris for Good Karma'. All the saris that are collected will be turned into evening couture outfits, beaded to enhance its value, remade into cushions, book covers, etc by a selected group of underprivileged women from Unit 2, Bayview or resold back into other communities (with proceeds going back into the project). "It can take just one old sari to change a woman's life forever. So get into those cupboards, draws and old bags and get rid of what you don't need, as there is a women not even 20kms from where you are right now that can have a plate of food on her table for her family if you do," she said Saris can be donated at any Spice Emporium or Ideal stores. Kanchana Moodliar with her 2011 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy