In India the Peepal tree (Ficus religiosa) is known as the Sacred Fig. It is a native deciduous tree of India which has been revered for centuries in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a very important tree in India where its bark, leaves and roots have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Extracts from the tree are said to be beneficial in relieving a wide range of symptoms including, skin disorders, heart and blood problems, asthma and many more.
This is a tree that keeps on giving. When the leaves are shed by the tree they are collected up and steeped in water for several weeks to reduce the leaf to a skeleton. Once the skeletons have been thoroughly dried they are ready for screen printing and then painting.
Some of the ladies who paint the leaves work at a centre next to the Neyer Dam while others work in their own homes. This work is very skilled and it allows the ladies to support their families from the sale of these leaves. Once painted, the leaves are mounted onto card to produce the unique greetings cards and Christmas cards which are on sale in the Shop.
In the run up to Christmas 2020, SFHHI will be focussing our efforts on Christmas Card sales. We had hoped to be selling cards in several churches and schools in the Strathaven area throughout October, November and December. Sadly, in the current coronavirus crisis, this will no longer be possible. Instead we are relying on the on-line sales. Please visit the Shop where you will find cards that are suitable for all occasions. We have added several new designs this year so take a look at Bluebird and Violets, Bluebird and Butterfly, the Keralan boat and the Golden Christmas Tree. We also have a new look Thistle and Holy Family.
The Supplies are still getting through from India, although there was some disruption in spring when coronavirus was taking the world by surprise. More than ever, the income from the sale of the cards is needed by the poorest communities that we support. We look forward to hearing from you.