Action Center for Transformation (ACT) is a nonprofit social development organization whose mission is to empower women and the environment. This is achieved by creating livelihood opportunities for rural women self-help groups by upcycling waste paper, cloth and other items which are transformed into a resourceful marketable product. The organization is registered under society registration act and is based in Maruti Kunj Road, Bhondsi, Gurugram.
Origin of the idea “ACT” germinated when the founder, Ms. Nilanjana Das met with a couple of women from the Bandhwari cluster in Gurgaon block in 2012. Women in these village had no continuous source of income and there was a dire need of income generating activities for them. She met many corporates and urged them to support a development program for the rural women. Some of these corporates agreed to give away their waste as a form of support. The wastes were collected from various offices. It was here that she thought of connecting the two problems and bringing out a sustainable solution. Waste could be used as raw material for the rural women to generate income. An opportunity was created to tackle the two problems of waste management and lack home-based livelihood opportunities for rural women. The ACT team brainstormed to turn waste into innovative handcrafted utility products. As the financial resources were bare minimum, no machinery was used. Simple handcrafting techniques of rolling, coiling quilling and weaving was used to turn the waste paper into a utility ecofriendly long-lasting products.
The innovation here was introducing the thought process among the rural women to create sustainable products from waste using their sense of creativity. The innovation was the development of these sustainable upcycled products to cater to the market need. The products are marketed under the name PAPER WINGS. Today there are more than 200 women associated with the federation - Kaagaz ke Paankh women association who are crafters and master trainers .