At the Mahabodhi Temple, the flowers used for worship are no longer thrown out. Colour is extracted from these flowers and dresses prepared by dyeing Khadi are sent out for sale in the market. MATR, a Gaya-based startup, is doing this work. Praveen Chauhan of the MATR organisation, says that people have a deep faith in these Khadi garments made at the Mahabodhi temple, dyed with organic colour from the flowers. In the last one year, 25 thousand meters of Khadi has been dyed. These Khadi garments have a high demand in countries like Australia, Japan, America. During the tourist season, an average of 300 kg flowers offered to the deity are sent for colour extraction daily.
Shri Chauhan of the MATR Official said that under the aegis of The Happy Hands Project, the scheme for dyed Khadi garments had been implemented. After collecting the flowers and bringing them to the storing station, the flower petals are torn off and separated, dried in shade and ground in a mixer-grinder. Later, colour pigments are extracted from them after heating them in hot water.
Shri Chauhan said that one kg of colour pigment is prepared from 30 kg of flowers. About 55 to 60 meters of cloth is dyed with a kg of colour pigment. After one-time dyeing, the fabric is re-dyed after drying, which is called multiple dyes. After the colour is extracted, the cloth is dried in the shade. According to Shri Chauhan, the colour of the cloth is reduced by repeated washing. Handmade fabrics are preferred for dyeing and Khadi is the best for this purpose.
He further stated that the village of Ghoghwa in Bodhgaya block used to indulge in handloom earlier, it is time to revive that. Amber Charkha will be given to 250 women, and they will be linked to self-help groups. Jeevika is in talks about this as well. A loan will be provided from the bank linked to Jeevika’s startup plan.
He also told us that they are planning to collect flowers from temples across the state level with the help of the Secretary of the Industries Department of the state. This will create natural colour dyes for Khadi. It can also be seen as a waste management project. The residue will be used for making incense sticks and organic compost.