The Indian Army and Pune- based Aseem Foundation have joined hands for an initiative to empower the widows of the martyrs with the launch of a pioneering venture.
In Jammu’s Samba district, at a military garrison, the widows of the martyrs have come together to establish a social entrepreneurial venture called Olive Green Cookies. The women here will get collective support that will in turn help them become independent while improving their personal skills as well.
About one and a half months ago, this batch of women started their work by baking cookies which are made with the high- quality apples and walnuts that are grown in the same region. The women are taking part in this entrepreneurial activity with the joint collaboration of Aseem Foundation, which is a Pune- based non- profit organisation.
“A group of widows were trained by the foundation which also provided necessary equipment for production of cookies. Currently, 10 kg of cookies are baked by these women daily,” an Indian Army officer supervising the initiative told the Press Trust of India.
Once cooked, these cookies are then transported by the Army to the Pune- based NGO twice a month. The cookies after reaching goes through the packaging and the marketing process. Currently, these are being delivered to the corporate customers in the big cities at a price of Rs 55 per packet, as informed by an officer- in- charge who wished anonymity.
With this venture and collective efforts, the Army intends to make the widows of the martyrs, independent. This engagement in the work front will not only keep the women equipped and productive but will also provide a source of income rather than just being dependent on the pension cheques. The venture though is at an initial stage at the moment but with a huge possible futuristic developments and are hopeful to incorporate more such women.
As reported by PTI, “Koshur Krunch” (Kashmiri delicious) is written on the top of the packet, which carries the message that every cookie is infused with the flavour of valour and sacrifice”.
The message on the packet reads, “Made by the hands of women of courage of Samba district, Olive Green Cookies tell a story of fighting the odds after losing a near and dear one in the line of duty. These war widows have the grit and determination to embrace fate with a stern will and pride themselves in being called ‘Veer Nari’.
“With the purchase of every pack of Olive Green Cookies, you are saluting not only the brave martyr but also supporting the indomitable spirit of war widows”.
Whatever profits are earned through the process are then shared with women who made it possible. “It is in keeping with the Army’s tradition of looking after the families of its soldiers,” said Lt Col Devender Anand, Defence spokesperson, to the PTI.