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Cooking up a storm in India

1 April 2015
Posted by Lucy Drescher

International Policy & Advocacy Manager Lucy Drescher recently visited India and the work of Sense International. Here she blogs about the work of PRATYUSHH, the parents network supported by Sense International India's partner, the Blind Peoples Association. The organisation provides a platform for parents of children with sensory impairments to meet, bringing them together, and allowing them to share and realise what they could do together.

This week I met a group of inspiring mothers from Gujarat. Gujaratis have a reputation for being entrepreneurs and this group have definitely lived up to that reputation. 23 of them have set up a catering business. They provide food for events of all different sizes, such as business lunches and weddings, and also tiffin tins for lunches.

Two women cooking at the groupThis business has helped them to get to know one another better and realise that they are in similar situations. The business has also changed the way society views them. They are impressed they can care for their children and do the business and so have more respect for them. Other women are envious of what they have achieved!

They told me about how their young people with deafblindness have also benefited from the business. Juhi, a daughter of 22 supports her mother in the business and this has brought them closer together. A son went out for the first time independently to get an essential ingredient that had been forgotten.

Lucy Drescher with two women from the groupThe group shares the shopping, cooking, packing and distribution of the food. They have a brochure, menu card and printed bills. Last month their profits were 130,000 rupees. The profits go to individuals when they fulfil an order alone or are shared amongst a group when they do an order together. The money is generally used by the women for their children and household expenses. When the children help out some money is put into an account for them.

They have ideas of how to progress the business with cookery classes to teach others and also they are thinking of setting up a Pani Puri stall, which is a popular snack in Gujarat.


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First published: Thursday 1 January 1970
Last updated: Thursday 1 January 1970