We all have consumed ridge gourd, which is also known by another name, turai or even luffa. The vegetable has many a benefit. Prominent among them are purification of blood, cure from jaundice, weight loss, diabetes control and many medicinal requirements. But, have you ever worn or heard of footwear made from the vegetable?
Well, those who visited the Trade Fair of India at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi this year must be familiar with other amazing uses of this simple veggie.
Vitoli Anchumi from Nagaland came with a unique concept of making a footwear of ridge gourd. She claimed that the footwear made of the veggie would help scrub feet and thereby ease blood circulation.
On being asked how she came up with this unique concept, Vitoli said, “One day, while bathing and scrubbing my feet, I was struck by an idea. Why not make something that could keep scrubbing the feet the whole day. Hence, I decided to make a special footwear which could serve the purpose.”
Why ridge gourd? Why not any other material? Her answer to this query was that her choice rest on ridge gourd because of its therapeutical properties and durability.
Before mass production, Vitoli decided to experiment it on herself. For one year, she wore the slippers made of ridge gourd to confirm whether it provides any benefit. After the successful trial, she decided to manufacture it for the public.
This is the first time that Vitoli is promoting something at the Trade Fair. The slippers massage feet muscles as one walks, exfoliate rough skin on feet, provide relief from tired, sore and aching feet. They are convenient to wash and non slippery.
Priced at Rs. 350, the slippers can be worn the whole day at home and will last for 8-9 months. They are handmade and take one full day to be produced.
The slippers are made by plucking dry gourd from trees. “If we pluck dry gourd, the footwear will last longer as compared to drying it after plucking,” she added.
“Rubber slippers make our feet wear out which we don't realise. I hope this will send out a message in favour of eco-friendly products and a reason to switch from rubber slippers,” she added.
Talking about people's response to her product, she said all the slippers had been sold out and she is left with only a few.
Giving full marks to the slippers, a visitor to Vitoli's stall said, “These are really good to provide relief to your feet. This is my second visit to the Trade Fair this year. On my earlier visit, I had bought one pair of the slippers, now I am buying another.”