Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
Navchetna Bakery in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district stands out for two reasons— its employees and its products.
The district administration, through this pilot project, is attempting to provide employment opportunities to the individuals belonging to the marginalised groups as well as promote local produce.
According to The Indian Express, the bakery has seven employees including women who were trafficked and rescued, transgenders and those who are specially-abled.
"We wanted to provide employment to vulnerable groups that doesn't constrain them to a routine job. The bakery will supply bread and other items to hotels and government-run canteens, as well as explore other markets. The idea is to make them self-sufficient," said Astha Rajput, nodal officer of the project.
The bakery has been established with an initial outlay of ₹10 lakh and is accommodates high-end machinery. Dantewada Collector Deepak Soni said that the project aims to provide both the services and items are not known in the district so far.
23-year-old Anand Sai Paul is the patissier and has a professional degree and work experience with a few top hotels up his sleeve. However, he wanted to return to his hometown and work here.
He explained that they are going to present a mix of modern baking skills and local produce.
"We will have the basic flavours but we are experimenting with mahua, moringa and local jaggery flavours. We are also planning to use millet and other grains to make bread and brownies," he said.
Paul further added that he has started working on packaging the baked goods to supply them across the state and outside.
"We are also looking at making Ragi nutrition bars with local produce," he added.
Rashmi (name changed), 21, was trafficked when she was 15 and was rescued in 2016. She is married and has a family but she aspires of equal pay like the men in her family.
Accompanied by her eight-month-old daughter, Rashmi travels for over an hour daily, from her village to the bakery in Dantewada. "I want to bake a cake for my daughter when she turns one," she said.
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