Manali: A Self-Help-Group of women from Himachal Pradesh, popular as “The Unique Pahadans” of Unbox Himachal Valley have come up with a unique idea of packing their gift hampers in the shapes of firecrackers, however when you open the boxes, you will be surprised with the handmade, quirky stuff.

These hampers are completely eco-friendly and plastic-free. When we asked the founder of Unbox Himachal Valley, Shivee Sirmauri told us

“Diwali during my childhood was different. It was simple and we had very few choices, however, everything was beautiful and charming. I was always intrigued with the pictures of Goddesses on the fireworks; however, I never liked the concept of burning crackers but those pictures were pretty. So, we decided to use them in our packaging.”

The pictures used in labels are around 40 years old which are from the calendars and posters of the 1980s. The hampers include decorative bells that come inside a cone that is identical to the “Anaars”. Other items include Glass candle holders with Kullu Shawl border, tealight candles packed in a way that it looks like a pack of crackers. Another interesting thing is a Big Bomb, which is actually a pack of Choco-walnuts. They have collaborated with the local potter community of the Nahan of Himachal Pradesh, and each hamper has a set of Clay Lamps (Mitti Ke Diye) as a free gift, along with a picture of Mata Laxmi that we use for Pooja on the day of Diwali.

The paper packaging and labels of the items of the hamper look like a box of firecrackers and it’s an interesting initiative.

Another thing they have launched is a deck of playing cards with a picture of a Pahadi girl, it is one of their best sellers. Shivee Sirmauri told us, ” The playing cards we have launched are quite interesting. It’s a collaboration of women from different places. So, the idea was popped up by Amrita Bhasin, from Shimla, who is the founder of Fursat Se, a Cultural community in Shimla. The artwork is done by Sayantani Dutta, an English language teacher in Japan, who is also an artist. it is so far the best seller, and we are happy that we could have such an interesting and meaningful collaboration with great minds and artists.”

“The idea behind Unbox Himachal Valley is to promote our traditional Pahadi Stuff, and handicrafts, while considering eco-friendly culture. We do not use plastic and chemicals in any of our products, and it’s a big challenge,” Shivee said and further added “We love to support women and their artistic abilities and we try our best to collaborate with them.  We are a small group, yet each of our team members is well known for their skills and we love to call ourselves, “The Unique Pahadans”.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.