Kisan Mela: Visitors make beeline for organic delights
The self-help groups (SHGs) displayed an impressive range of goods, including honey, pickles, laddos, pinni (traditional Indian sweets), spices, soaps, cosmetics, home remedies for pain and flu, squashes, candies, juices, and other items
: Stalls put up by over 113 self-help groups showcasing an array of organic and handmade products were a massive hit among the visitors at the Kisan Mela here, highlighting the growing demand for organic and chemical-free alternatives.
The self-help groups (SHGs) displayed an impressive range of goods, including honey, pickles, laddos, pinni (traditional Indian sweets), spices, soaps, cosmetics, home remedies for pain and flu, squashes, candies, juices, and other items.
Some of the SHGs have been serving the community for over two decades and have become a must-visit for those eagerly awaiting the Kisan Mela.
The Kandi Area and Natural Products, a 350-member SHG, have been selling their goods since 2003 and are known for their preservative-free offerings.
“We have an annual turnover of ₹35 lakh. We grow our fruits and vegetables, benefiting from the rain-fed soil in Talwara, a neighboring town of Himachal Pradesh. This natural advantage allows us to produce goods without preservatives or additives. We process these products and take them to the market. Our samples have even met the standards set by the US food authorities, and we are planning to export our products to the US as soon as we get our exporting licence,” Renu Sharma, a member of the Kandi Area SHG, said.
The range of organic products offered by these SHGs is diverse, spanning from edible items to cosmetics, providing consumers with a healthier and sustainable alternative to conventionally processed goods.
Ranjit Kaur, a customer at the SHG stalls, emphasised the importance of choosing organic products.
“Apart from the lifestyle imbalances we face today, the quality of the food we consume has degraded over the years. Fertilizer-laden products are leading to health issues, and it is wise to invest a little more in organic products rather than compromising our health.”
Another Patiala-based SHG, consisting of 14 members, specialises in spices and cosmetics. They grow the raw materials themselves and create chemical-free solutions for daily life issues like flu, joint pains, and acne. Their products have gained immense popularity among the masses, often leading to bulk orders from satisfied customers.
“We grow around four types of turmeric, with one being popularly used to treat joint pain, one for cosmetic and another solely focused on immunity building. The formulation is centuries old. These are remedies trusted by our grandmothers,” Harwinder, member of the SHG, said.
Angrez Singh, who runs a stall offering NBB certified unprocessed honey, said, “Visitors arrive here with high hopes of savoring the authentic organic flavour that has become increasingly rare, even in rural areas. To highlight the purity of our honey to our guests, we have conducted several tests and have even brought live bees along to demonstrate our honey extraction process.”