The Return of Dheki: A Tale of Tradition, Empowerment, and Progress
Ever wondered about the fantastic flavors our grandparents enjoyed in their meals? Enter Dheki Rice – a time-traveling treat! Made the old-school way with wood pounders, it’s not just rice; it’s a trip down the tasteful memory lane.
The intrusion of mills diminished the use of ‘dheki,’ a traditional method for rice production. Two groups, Annapurna dheki chawal utpadak samuh and Dev. Priya dheki chawal utpadak samuh, have embraced dheki, producing a variety of rice such as Balibhojana, Govindo Bhog, Super Salooni, and more.
Innovative Business Model:
These groups handle the entire rice production process, from grading to packing, creating a market for their products. Beyond rice, they’ve diversified into products like rice powder, dusty rice for poultry, and Muri (puffed rice).
The Impact of Dheki Installation:
The installation of dheki machines by the Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), with support from IIT KGP, transformed the lives of villagers in Raghunathpur. Before, locals faced challenges selling and processing paddy. With this, the process became faster, with a remarkable increase in rice production.
Before dheki, 10 kg of paddy took 3 hours to process into the rice. Now, the machine handles 50 kg at the same time. This not only boosts productivity but also attracts more individuals, especially women, to participate. Monthly incomes have risen to 1500rs per worker, showcasing both income generation and women empowerment.
Economic Growth and Market Value:
The intervention of dheki not only changed consumption habits but also increased the market value of rice. What used to be sold as paddy at 15 Rs per kg is now sold as rice at 60-65 Rs per kg.
A Success Story: Kartik Dan:
Kartik Dan, a resident of Raghunathpur Village embodies the success of dheki. His family’s income increased significantly, and he has become a role model for society. Kartik’s dedication to both studies and rice dheki contributes 4000rs more to the family’s monthly income.
Gratitude and Future Plans:
Kartik and his group express gratitude to CWS for the dheki machine. Their success has motivated them to expand their business by installing another machine. To tackle power cuts, they plan to invest in solar power. The group is optimistic about creating a robust market for their products.
Dheki Rice is more than a return to tradition; it’s a catalyst for economic growth, community empowerment, and sustainable practices. As Kartik and his group forge ahead, their success story becomes an inspiration for others to embrace innovative yet traditional solutions for a better tomorrow.