An artisan-entrepreneur, Rajiben Vankar transforms plastic waste into bags & accessories, has successfully removed over 3 million plastic bags from the planet.
Mumbai, January 11, 2024 – The Ladies’ Wing of IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with the Bajaj Electricals Limited has bestowed the esteemed 30th IMC Ladies’ Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar 2023 to Smt. Rajiben Vankar, Founder, Rajiben - Crafting a Better Planet for her exemplary contribution towards sustainable entrepreneurship and encouraging women in her village to join the mission of plastic up-cycling. Renowned actress and environmentalist Dia Mirza and Dr. Ashok Khosla – Chairman of Development Alternatives felicitated Rajiben Vankar at the flagship award ceremony held in Mumbai.
Rajiben Vankar, the visionary behind the brand Rajiben - Crafting a Better Planet, has redefined sustainability by transforming plastic waste into stylish bags and accessories. Her journey, marked by resilience and determination, resonated with the theme of the event, overcoming gender-based discrimination and contributing to both environmental sustainability and community empowerment. Through her efforts, Rajiben has successfully removed over 3 million plastic bags from the planet, making a significant impact in reducing environmental waste.
She has played a pivotal role in rallying local women in her village near Bhuj, Guajart, to join the mission of plastic up-cycling. This collaborative effort not only contributed to environmental conservation but also provided crucial economic opportunities for the women involved.
On the occasion of 30th year milestone of the prestigious Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar, the IMC Ladies’ Wing had organized ‘SWADHEEN’, a 3-day exhibition from 7th to 9th January, celebrating the handwoven fabric that Jankidevi Bajaj dedicated her life to. SWADHEEN brought together historical, social, and economic contexts in which the Fabric of Freedom developed and persists. The curated exhibition highlighted the History and Value Chain of the fabric, while the Permanent Exhibition on Jamnalal Bajaj showcased a retrospective on Jankidevi Bajaj. An exhibition and sale of the hand-spun and handwoven fabric presented artisans, entrepreneurs, designers, social enterprises, and NGOs, displaying the fabric in various forms, including wearables and lifestyle products.
Speaking on the occasion, Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Electricals Ltd said, “Celebrating new ideas and people making positive difference to the society, IMC Ladies’ Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar is committed to honouring women who turn challenges into opportunities. We strongly believe in supporting visionaries who play a big role in sustainable business. Rajiben Vankar is a telling example of women leading the change in our villages. Her innovative work in transforming plastic waste into stylish accessories is not only sustainable entrepreneurship but an example of uplifting communities, which aligns perfectly with the essence of the Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar.”
Rajiben Vankar, Founder, Rajiben- Crafting a Better Planet said, " Plastic waste is most important topic to discuss but most neglected topic to work on. I chose to work with plastic waste because it was close to my heart. This award fuels my passion and commitment to continue striving for excellence and contributing positively to upcycle 10 million plastic bags. This recognition motivates me to push boundaries, explore new horizons, and make meaningful contributions for crafting a better planet."
The 30th anniversary of the IMC Ladies’ Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar was not just a celebration of Rajiben Vankar's accomplishments but also a reflection of the ongoing commitment to recognizing, promoting, supporting, and honoring women entrepreneurs working towards improving living conditions in rural India. The award continues to carry forward the legacy of Smt. Jankidevi Bajaj, acknowledging her pioneering work in the realm of rural development.