Mission Shakti Cafés In Sundargarh: Healthy Food at Affordable Price, Augmenting Livelihood of WSHG Members

Sundargarh : The state government has opened a chain of Mission Shakti Cafes at all block headquarters in Sundargarh district for the convenience of people visiting various offices, and for other works, on a daily basis. The cafés, managed by different WSH Groups, serve healthy lunch, breakfast and evening snacks at an affordable price in a hygienic set up.
The programme, under the aegis of Mission Shakti Department and Odisha Livelihood Mission of Govt of Odisha, has been launched with an objective of expanding the scope of activity of WSHG members by engaging them in unconventional vocations for ensuring their livelihood. The WSHG members are getting good returns by managing the cafes.
“Earlier we were engaged in various traditional works. Now, with help from the District Administration, we are running Mission Shakti Café where we are preparing food items as per peoples’ choice. We take care to ensure that people get good food in a homely atmosphere,” said Nilima Kullu, a WSHG member from Kutra block.
“We were given training at Sundargarh after we were selected for managing Mission Shakti Café. The training programme focused on preparation of various food items while ensuring hygiene at the café premises. We are now getting good returns by running the café,” said Mamina Kujur, a WSHG member from Birsa block.
As the pilot project of the programme, an ‘Utkal Kitchen’ was opened in Kuarmunda block (of Sundargarh district) in 2021 with financial support from the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC).
In subsequent period, ‘Mission Shakti Cafes’ were set up in the rest 16 blocks of the district. The District Mineral Foundation (DMF), Sundargarh has been extending the required finances for the management of the cafes.
The Mission Shakti Cafes serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments on all 6 working days of the week, and are open between 8 am and 6 pm. The breakfast items include Bara, Alu Chop, Idli etc, while the lunch meal has Rice, Dal, Curry, Chips, Assorted fried vegetables and Sag. People preferring non-veg food may chose between Egg, Fish and Chicken dishes. Pakoda (pakudi) and Singada (samosa) are served in the afternoon along with tea and coffee.
“Earlier, I would frequently fall ill by eating spicy and oily food at hotels. These days I regularly eat at the Mission Shakti Café ever since it opened. I feel better now,” said Bishwaranjan Das, a young patron at Birsa block.
“Women managing the café are well mannered and are keeping the premises neat and clean. That’s why it feels good to eat in the homely atmosphere of the café,” said Mandakini Patel, a customer at Kutra block.
The WSHG members are imparted the necessary training in the management of the Cafes which includes preparation of food as well as customer care. Mission Shakti Cafes in Sundargarh district have become a powerful medium in making WSHG members self reliant.

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