This wonderful news comes to us from India.
Whenever we hear the word instant associated with any edible item, we tend to think of the food is unhealthy. But, dispelling the notion, Pramila, a 31-year-old from Gujarat’s Kolamba village says that she swears by the nutritious instant khichdi which is made by the tribal women in ChhotaUdepur district.
She says “The mix is prepared using organically grown rice, pulses, and vegetables. It makes for a nutritious meal supplement that can battle malnourishment in women and children. Many pregnant women in villages are deprived of wholesome meals due to unavailability or affordability. This instant khichdi can bridge the gap.”
Pramila is a part of the 3000 women strong who are a part of the Paripurna initiative started by Gujarat based Deepak Foundation in 2017. The foundation tries to make women financially independent across 88 villages of the ChotaUdepur district with the help of their “De India Express” instant khichdi which are available in different flavors like moong, and toor dal. All you need to do is to add the pre-mix khichdi to boiling water and you will have a lip-smacking meal ready in 10 minutes.
The foundation was started by CK Mehta in 1982, it is the CSR arm of the Deepak Group of Industries. The foundation works towards improving the health status of the tribal communities of ChhotaUdepur.
After providing the healthcare services to the districts over the last few years, the foundation felt the impetus to tackle the dietary imbalance problem because it was one of the major issues that were prevailing in the society.
Jai Pawar, Deputy Director of the Deepak Foundation says “Khichdi is everyone’s go-to comfort food, especially in Gujarati households. It has ample nutritional properties and it is also easy to prepare an item of food. Plus, today’s generation is all for “Instant things” and thus we worked on technology around it.”
The khichdi product has been approved and registered by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Because of the strong presence of women over several villages, it was easy for the foundation workers to mobilize and train women to run the 600 square feet plant located in Naswadi. The women work in shifts and earn up to Rs 5000 a month.
The plant has enormous cookers where the khichdi is prepared in the normal style. After it is ready it is transported to a freezer where it stays for 10-14 hours. The frozen mix is then thawed and deposited into a tray dryer where a dried version of khichdi is ready. The mix is sealed in a 600-gram packet with a masala pouch for taste.
Image source: Daily Hunt