Gaothan self-help groups to sell East Indian food, merchandise | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Gaothan self-help groups to sell East Indian food, merchandise

Members of the lower-economic strata of the city’s East Indian community will now get a chance to make a better living by selling ingredients used in East Indian food and merchandise through self-help groups.

mumbai Updated: May 09, 2011 01:42 IST
HT Correspondent

Members of the lower-economic strata of the city’s East Indian community will now get a chance to make a better living by selling ingredients used in East Indian food and merchandise through self-help groups.

The Mobai Gaothan Panchayat (MGP), an organisation representing East Indians, the earliest rural inhabitants of Mumbai, will create and fund the groups. A major part of the profits will be given to the locals. The initiative is part of the MGP’s Self-empowerment Project for Gaothan Upliftment, which was announced on Sunday during the launch of the city’s first East Indian museum, Mobai Bhavan, at Manori.

The panchayat plans to form at least three to four local self-help groups of gaothan (village) residents from Manori to Bhayander.

Members of these groups will make and sell East Indian pickles, masalas, dry packaged fish, local sweets and cakes.

They will also promote typical East Indian rural merchandise such as the lugra (chequered sari), ghumats (earthen drums), cloth bags, caps as well as specially designed gaothan-themed T-shirts.

“A lot of our community members are fisher folk who are unemployed for four months of the year. Through this initiative, we hope to help them earn during this lean period,” said Alphi D’Souza, chief executive officer of the MGP.

The Panchayat’s future plans include setting up ‘Mobai Ghars’, which are small outlets, in each of the 189 gaothans remaining in the city, where these food items and merchandise will be sold through appointed vendors.