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FOOD PROCESSING

HRAWI collaborates with ministry for Project Pickle as a support to Dalits
Friday, 10 March, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has collaborated with the ministry of social justice & empowerment to provide support for Dalit women to start and sustain their own enterprises through Project Pickle, a project dedicated to an everyday food item - pickle. The project was announced at ‘Women Empowerment & Social Transformation - Justice for Weaker Sections,’a conference and panel discussion, held on Wednesday by Indo American Chamber of Commerce with the support of ministry of social justice & empowerment, Government of India.

The meet highlighted the issues and challenges faced by Dalit women and discussed innovative strategies which could both empower women and galvanise economic growth at the grassroots level. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the conference was participated by Ramdas Athawale, Union minister of state for social justice & empowerment; Bharat Malkani, former president, HRAWI; and Dr Geeta Ibrahim, principal, College of Home Science, Nirmala Niketan; among others.

“With more than 10,000 hotels and restaurants operating in Mumbai, at least statistically, ‘Project Pickle’ could provide employment to 6.5 lakh weaker section women. It is estimated that domestic hotel industry buys close to Rs 240 crore worth of pickles, of which Maharashtra hotels’ share of purchase stands estimated at Rs 65-70 crore. One month’s supply of pickles in three to five hotels can provide employment to at least 10 Women’s Self Help Group (WSHG) community ladies,” said Malkani.

“I thank HRAWI for taking initiative and coming forward with this innovative idea. This will go a long way in bringing about the much needed social equity and the principle of One Man – One Value that Dr Ambedkar eloquently spoke about. Such linkages will help realise Babasaheb's vision of fostering equality in social and economic life and strive to bring about economic democracy," said Athawale. He also thanked the organisers of the conference, Indo American Chamber of Commerce and media partner - Free Press Group of Newspapers.

“Even if we begin with a pilot project in Maharashtra, this could become a case study for not only hotel industries across the nation, but for associations across all sectors. The hospitality sector is one of the biggest employment generators in the nation as well as one of the biggest contributors to the GDP. We will do our best to make a success of this project,” concluded Dilip Datwani, president, HRAWI. The hotel body will conduct an advocacy programme with both its member and non-member hotels and restaurants to purchase pickles from self-help Dalit women groups.
 
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