Friday, June 23, 2006

Bihar women cook up success tale

Bhagalpur (Bihar): Thirteen women in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar are cooking up a storm. In order to make a living, the women got together a year ago and set up a roadside dhaaba (eating joint).

The women jointly run the Asha Dhaaba with ?manager? Biwi Rajo at the forefront.

"Kaise maintenance karte? Ek aadmi kamane wala hai ghar pe, 12-13 aurat milkar ek committee khole. Sarkar ne bhi madat ki Rs 25,000 loan deke,. (How could we maintain with one man working? 12-13 women got together and opened a committee. We also took a loan from the government)," says Biwi Rajo.

The dhaaba has become a favourite with not just the villagers, but also truck drivers who make it a point to stop and savour the home-like food.

"Gaadi chalaate hai. Khana tasteful milta hai isliye yahaa rukte hai khaakar chalte hai (I drive a truck. The food is tasty, so I stop here to eat)," says truck driver, Shekhar Singh.

"Is jageh mei ek dum ghar jaisa mahaul hai. Koi dikkat nahi (The atmosphere is friendly here, there is no problem)," says another truck driver Tuntun Singh.

However, the going has not been smooth for these fearless women. While they earn accolades for their lip-smacking delicacies, they also have brave certain unruly elements.

"Peene waalo ko khaana diyaa nahi karte hai. Bhagaa dete hai ki bhai khaana nahi hai, dusra hotel dekh lo (We don't serve to people who come to drink. We tell them that there is no food so go to another hotel)," says dhaaba worker, Bohiya Biwi.

What started as a means to make ends meet has now become a success story. Having made a mark in an essentially male-dominated business, the women are not letting the success go to their head.
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