A video of Thiruvananthapuram Collector Dr K Vasuki talking about her red sari has gone viral on the internet. Many people wondered why this particular video of the collector’s sari was being widely circulated and why she was being appreciated. In the video, Vasuki is seen clad in a beautiful red sari that looks brand new, except that it is not. Vasuki was wearing a used sari that she found discarded at the Resource Recovery Facility (RFF) at Varkala municipality.
Dr Vasuki, who quit a career as a successful medical professional to join the civil services after being inspired by rescue efforts by IAS officers after the 2004 tsunami, had visited the RFF facility two months ago, where, as seen in the video, she was recorded holding a yellow sari that she found there. She jokes that she actually prefers the red sari that one of the other staff members was holding. The female staff members can be seen bursting into merry laughter at her words, and tell her that they can exchange saris and that she must wear the red sari one day soon.
“Today, I have worn this and come to a meeting on the Shivagiri pilgrimage to be held here in Varkala. I am adopting this practice to promote reuse. I have no hesitations or stigma in wearing a sari already worn by someone else. For me, the environment is primary,” she says.
The Thiruvananthapuram collector is promoting a radically different way of life to save the environment, which has been receiving rave reviews on social media already. The video, which was posted on her Facebook page, has already been shared over 13,000 times and has garnered 5,78,408 views, with over 13,000 reactions and over 400 comments.
This effort comes amid the zero-waste beacon municipality project in Varkala, where “green technicians” collect clean and dry non-biodegradable waste from houses in order to recycle and reuse them.
“I got this sari from the RFF, which has been used and discarded by someone else. I had said then itself I would wear this,” she says.
She continues, “This sari is not actually cotton; it is, in a way, made from plastic. So rather than harming the environment by throwing it away, I choose to wear it again and give it a new life. This sari will have a long lifespan, and I will wear it at least for 10 or 15 years. What we are promoting is “old is fashionable”. Who says that only new clothes can be seen as beautiful from the outside? Let us make a change to that statement. Old is fashionable. I am wearing something that someone else has used, and I will continue wearing it until it is so old that I won’t be able to wear it anymore. Until then I will use it, I give my word to that.”
In a comment accompanying the video posted on Facebook, she encourages more people to take up the “old is gold” challenge she has put forward, to “rev up for a revolution” in recycling and reusing old clothes and materials.