Five tribal women turn successful food entrepreneurs
Kalpetta: An intrepid band of five women entrepreneurs belonging to Kuruma and Paniya tribes have been running a catering service and hotel serving authentic Wayanadan ethnic food for the past five months in Kattikkulam. Named ‘Adigamane’, which in tribal language translates as ‘Our kitchen,’ it has been bankrolled by Thirunelli panchayat and Kudumbashree to the extent of re. 1 lakh and re. 75,000, respectively. Divya Raghu, one of the sorority of six, proudly says that only a tiny part of the loan is pending re-payment. Saikrishnan T V, Coordinator-Thirunelli Special Project of Kudumbashree is lending guidance to these women under the Integrated Tribal Development Project. Thus like Divya; Geetha, Meenakshi Vijayan, Mini Chandran, Reena Rajan and Usha Sekharan, who otherwise would have been stuck to their traditional roles of gathering forest resources and rooted in kitchens, have now become the financial pillars of their families. Most of the recipes have leaves sourced from forests as the main ingredient. ‘Chaakkothi Chicken,’ chicken marinated in leaves of the edible fern churuli, found near river banks and other herbal leaves are roasted without oil on a dosa pan, comes highly recommended.