For the first time ever in Nagpur, differently-abled people with LAD College conducted Millet Food Festival. SVK Shikshan Sanstha, founded in 2007, has been working towards educational and professional welfare of marginalised women, children and people diagnosed with disabilities (ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Mental Retardation etc) in Nagpur.
In 2017, SVK designed and initiated ‘Project Vatsalya’ with an aim to create an enabling and inclusive society that shall be sensitive and supportive of the skills of people with differently-abled. It has so far worked with more than 300 differently-abled beneficiaries of Nagpur, in their professional training and employment.
To facilitate equal opportunities and socio-financial independency for the differently-abled beneficiaries, Project Vatsalya recently conducted a month-long ‘Employability Enhancement Training Program.’ This training program was aimed to develop communication skills, work-place etiquettes, team building, complex problem solving, etc.
To mark the successful training and to demonstrate the learnings of the beneficiaries, Project Vatsalya conducted the food festival on 3rd March 2019 at Chitnavis Centre, Civil Lines in Nagpur.
For the first time in Nagpur, differently-abled participants of Employability Enhancement Training Program along with kitchen support from the Hotel Management Dept (LAD College) under the supervision of Dr Charuta Gajbhiye, Vishakha Shahane and Nandita Sapra, successfully conducted the food festival.
While the chief guest at this food festival was Dr Shyamala Nair (Director, Women’s Education Society), the guests of honour were renowned dietician and Director at Sunil Diabetic Centre) Dr Kavita Gupta and Vilasini Nair President (Nagpur Mahila Club).
Dr Harsha Jharia (Ex vice-prinicipal LAD College), Dr Vikash Khurana (Famous Theater personality and Director StageCraft), and RJ Nisha (Big FM) were also present at the event.
Gayathri Vatsalya, President and YSK Prerana, Secretary of SVK Shikshan Sanstha Gayathri Vatsalya, along with the SVK team of benefeciaries, parents and volunteers worked hard for the success of project.
The food festival aimed to promote highly nutritious and gluten-free millets, which are known to protect and prevent health diseases like type-2 diabetes, breast cancer, and bad cholesterol. It also helps in detoxification of the body and reduction of blood pressure.
The festival saw a variety of breakfast items made with millets, such as dosa, uttapam, upma, thalipeeth and idlis served with millet kheer and herbal tea. In addition, multigrain brownies, cupcakes and chaklis made with 21-grain flour were also made available.
From handling the reception and coupon counters to serving food, the festival was efficiently managed by differently-abled people. So much so that their skills and discipline were highly lauded by everyone present.
Like all other events by SVK, the food festival aimed at striving towards creating an equal and just society that encourages the talent of the differently-abled people.
One of the 300 guests present said, “It is such a unique project! To watch differently-abled people work effortlessly and manage all the logistics, it felt overwhelming. Plus, the food served was also very interesting and healthy.”
SVK Shikshan Sanstha is based out of Shankar Nagar, Nagpur, and is open to visitors to witness the regular working and production by differently-abled people.
Below are some pictures of the food festival: