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Empowering Women Through ‘Ma Ki Roti’ Community Kitchen: A Path to Transformation

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

We are proud to introduce our most recent CSR venture – the ‘Ma Ki Roti’ community kitchen, located in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.

Introduction

The progress of a community relies on two pivotal factors: empowering women economically and ensuring the availability of nourishing, budget-friendly food to all its members. With a keen understanding of the significance of these factors, we are proud to introduce our most recent CSR venture – the ‘Ma Ki Roti’ community kitchen, located in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.

Through this initiative we aim to: (a) advance the involvement of women from underprivileged backgrounds in Bilaspur’s formal workforce; and (b) grant the people of Bilaspur access to cost-effective, nutritious meals. Since commencing its operations on May 1, 2023, the kitchen has successfully served 1700 food thalis.

We have partnered with Ma Foundation and Matri Sudha to launch this initiative. Ma ki Roti is a flagship initiative by Ma Foundation in Mumbai and Matri Sudha is their on-ground partner. Ma Foundation is an NGO focused on feeding disadvantaged mothers and their children across rural India while Matri Sudha Matri Sudha is a non-profit organization that works with young children, adolescents, and their caregivers on health and nutrition.

Launch day of the community kitchen in Bilaspur

Empowering Through ‘Ma Ki Roti’ Community Kitchens

At the heart of the ‘Ma Ki Roti’ community kitchen lies a transformative approach to effecting change. This initiative mirrors two of our core CSR principles: empowering women and facilitating access to affordable, nutritious food.

The selection of Bilaspur out of the twelve districts in Himachal Pradesh was driven by a clear rationale rooted in the urgent needs of the community. This district grapples with the second-highest level of child malnutrition in the state. Moreover, its landlocked geography has resulted in limited employment avenues, particularly for the district’s women.

Women cooking in the community kitchen

The community kitchen operates by engaging women from underprivileged backgrounds, extending to them meaningful employment opportunities. The earnings generated from this endeavor are equitably distributed among these women, serving as a means of economic empowerment.

The community kitchen prioritizes delivering nourishing meals to the Bilaspur community while upholding nutrition standards, even with subsidized pricing. Through initiatives like the ‘Millet Lunch,’ the kitchen raises awareness about the nutritional benefits of millet and conducts training programs to educate individuals about balanced diets. By offering food at subsidized rates, the kitchen ensures that access to wholesome and nutrient-rich meals is available to everyone, promoting a healthier and more nourished community.

People eating the Millet Lunch

A Step Towards a Brighter Future

The CSR funds provided by Puri Oil Mills were employed in establishing the canteen, covering operational expenses, delivering vital training to the women involved, and further reducing the cost of the food offered.

The limited time in which “Maa Ki Roti” in Bilaspur has made its name meaningful to the community is unprecedented and incomparable. It displays the same cleanliness and taste of affection as a “mother’s food”. The work they are doing, especially in times of natural calamities, is commendable. Anurag Sharma, Manager, Mandi Branch, Puri Oil Mills Limited

The Impact of Transformation

The ‘Ma Ki Roti’ canteen has positively impacted women’s lives, paving the way for their improved livelihoods. Every woman in the group earns a monthly income of INR 5000 per month apart from having food for themselves and family members which costs INR 700 to 900 per month.

Neema, one of the beneficiaries of the Ma ki Roti initiative

Additionally, catering to as many as 100 food thalis daily, the canteen’s functioning has resulted in improved availability of wholesome meals.

In Times of Need: Flood Relief

During the recent floods in Himachal Pradesh, an additional benefit of the community kitchen came to light. The kitchen swiftly extended support by providing subsidized food to relief shelters in collaboration with the government, catering to the needs of flood victims.

I am delighted to have Puri Oil Mills Limited as a partner in our endeavors to transform rural women into budding entrepreneurs. Their support for the ‘Ma Ki Roti’ program, which empowers the most marginalized mothers from the farthest reaches of India by harnessing their culinary skills and motivating them to embark on entrepreneurial journeys, is truly commendable. Furthermore, their involvement in disaster relief efforts underlines their commitment to aiding the most vulnerable. Geeta Gopalakrishnan, Founder and Managing Trustee, Ma Foundation

Geeta Gopalakrishnan, Founder and Managing Trustee, Ma Foundation

A Journey Towards a Promising Tomorrow

The ‘Ma Ki Roti’ initiative embodies our firm belief that businesses bear a social responsibility to give back to the communities that sustain them. Through empowerment, nourishment, and collaborative efforts, we aspire to usher in lasting change that resonates across generations. Joined by Ma Foundation, Matri Sudha, we embark on this transformative journey towards a brighter, more equitable future.

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