For 26-year-old Omi Gurung, the colour green symbolizes a way of life. This eco-friendly warrior is working towards making this world a cleaner place to live in.
His home nestled at Banaswadi Main Road near Fire Station is colorful yet subtle. One can't help but admire at some of the products Omi Gurung has created that range from pencil stands, handmade bags with delicate embroidery work to attractive key chains made out of old clothes among others. Being brought up in the land of mystic splendor Sikkim, Omi's love for nature needs no mention. "I always wanted to do something for the environment in my own style," said Omi who is in the city since 2003. This Bangalore based fashion designer is doing his bit to save the environment. He recycles household waste to create stunning accessories and decorative items. He also conducts workshops to educate and empower the youth.
His initiative 'OMI'
In the year 2010, he started a green initiative called 'Oh My India' (OMI) that initially started as a social group on a social networking site but within a span of few days, it went on to become a successful catalyst in creating awareness among people. Oh My India inspires many and tries to bring a change in the lifestyle of people by creating awareness to reduce, reuse and recycle domestic waste and helping them to get started. "I wanted to do something practical and in easy fashion, so that a common man can be benefited. Via Oh My India, I can reach out to people across the world. We care for our environment, so we share our ideas and information and in the process we inspire many," added Omi thoughtfully.
Seeing his crisp green kurta, one can, undoubtedly, say that his favourite colour is green. "Oh yes! Green is very refreshing and it is a verb for me. It means action - to do something positive on your day to day basis not just on World Environment Day or Earth Day". Omi holds a fashion degree from Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology and had even bagged 'The most creative designer' award at Mystique Designer Awards in the year 2007.
‘Bangalore is still green’
Many people feel that Bangalore is no longer a green city as it used to be. But, surprisingly, Omi doesn't agree with that and thinks that the city has the most number of eco conscious citizens. "Today most of the green entrepreneurs in India are from Bangalore. Bangaloreans are very much aware of the negative impacts of global warming and other environmental hazards, so many are doing their bit to make the city much greener in their own little ways," he said.
‘Joy of giving’
Whenever, Omi gets free time, he makes sure to use it effectively. He visits old age home or orphanage and spent some quality time there. "It is a beautiful experience that can't be described in words. He believes in joy of giving and hence, started conducting workshops for underprivileged children in the year 2010 on summer art. Talking more about it, he added: "I wish to conduct such workshop in nooks and cranny of India if given a chance. I believe it is the best way of empowering unemployed youth".
No more plastic bags please!
His advice to people is simple and powerful. "People should stop buying plastic covers instead carry their own shopping bags. Today, there are several brands in the market that offers beautiful recycled bags at reasonable price. If they are not buying the products, then one can make their own customized shopping bags out of old denims or even cotton kurta. They are so fashionable and comfy. Also, switch off electrical appliances and gadgets when not in use," he said before signing off.