If you are in SE Qld why not visit our Underwood showroom.
Our Soapnut Supplier
We are very proud to be associated with our supplier, Pureindia, and the company owner, DK Gupta.
From the pen of DK Gupta, comes the following "Soapnut Story"
Himalayas are known as an abode of God and Godesses and since the time immemorial this peaceful place on the mother earth has attracted lacs of philosophers, tourists and nature lovers to feel the grace of the place and the nature's mysteries. The calm, serene and clean environment of this region not only helped in making a healthy society in the region but also provided many natural gifts in the form of medicinal herbs, plants, fruits and precious minerals.
Himachal Pradesh, a tiny state in North India is dotted with small villages, which has unique culture and traditions. The people of this region have preserved the old age traditions and elders philosophy in its original form. The economy of the place is basically dependent on the rich forest wealth, which is known as a green pearl in Himalayan crown. The local people still gather the natural forest produce to supplement their income and some under privileged people still gather these products for their bread and butter.
The soap nut (Sapindus Mukorossi) is one of the natures gift found in abundant in this region. The soap nuts are sticky and golden in colour during harvesting, changing to reddish brown when dried. Soap nut shells contain saponin (a natural detergent) and when they came in contact with water they make mild studs. Soap nuts are natural, organic, environment friendly alternative for soap, detergent and other chemicals.
More than 50% of the workforce engaged in collecting these nuts belongs to the underprivileged and untouchables. Seventy Eight years old Janardhan, resident of a tiny village Dhndan, Himachal Pradesh was earlier earning 4$ per month but now working with soapnuts collection & cracking is earning about 200 $ per month which is 45% more than the minimum wages specified by the Government. Rama an eighty years old destitute lady has a similar story. PureIndia is working as a catalyst between poor farmers and buyers around the world to provide better living to the poor and underprivileged.
The underline philosophy of PureIndia is to provide social support by engaging the local people to help them in building a strong and viable future for themselves and society. PureIndia is going to start a Help project in various schools of Himachal Pradesh to associate children belonging to underprivileged classes. PureIndia will provide them with books, clothes and certain minimum financial help to pursue quality education. In the first phase 100 such children in various schools of Himachal Pradesh will be selected to pursue the social cause.
The new venture of PureIndia will also help in preserving this wonder plant of the Himalayas besides motivating the people to grow more trees of soap nut to reduce soil erosion and keeping our planet more Green. In this whole concept no machine will be used, only the human hands join together to translate the hidden idea. And in the end, this natural wonder fruit of Himalayas, apart from washing clothes will definitely be able to clean the dirt of poverty and illiteracy of the underprivileged society & Children.
- Soapnut is found in 5 districts out of 12 in Himachal Pradesh, where altitude varies between 1500m to 2500m and are non-snow areas.
- It flowers in May-June(peak summer time), and fruit gets ready on trees by November first week( start of winter). Then its is abundantly avaliable till March.
- We directly or indirectly employ around 3000 farmer families to collect soapnuts in the above five districts from roadsides, forest and farmer's lands.
- These people after gathering it sun dry it on roofs and open fields for 15-20 days.
- By mid december it starts arriving in our warehouses.
- For cracking/cleaning and packaging we employ around 130 families by December thru August.
- In process of collecting and cracking i guess 99% of the people involved are under privileged. whose annual family income was below US$1500 per annum.
- On an average each family earn almost US $2000 extra per year from us.
Soapnuts spread to dry.
Removing the seed from the husk.
De-seeding, with the foothills of the Himalayas in the background.