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Traditional Gur gets a makeover

Traditional Gur gets a makeover

Every Indian household has a sweet tooth for gur or date palm jaggery as it’s called in English. Those who live in villages especially love it.

Date palm jaggery is obtained by collecting the sugar from the sap and treating it then storing it in earthen pitchers so that it doesn’t spoil for a month or two. The problem, however, remained that the jaggery would spoil quickly and to control the problem the Indian Institute of Packaging in West Bengal and the village workers have joined hands to make the delicacy last longer.

The Institute decided to come up with a package that is similar to a toothpaste tube which is biodegradable. The inside is made of a foil-like structure. So what it does is avoid oxidization and it also prevents bacteria from reacting with the surface and thus the storage period has increased from just a month or so to almost a year.

Because of this great idea, the women of West Bengal are being put to use and their skill set is increasing along with income. Earlier they were only able to fill around 100 packages but the number has raised to 600. Along with employment, income has also improved. These women are taught to sew and the packages and over 30,000 tribal women have been employed. The role of middlemen has been excluded, meaning that most of the profits go to those who are putting in the effort.

Though this is a small step towards development, it is making a difference. Turns out Make in India initiative is taking a better turn that expected and what’s the best part is that leading organizations like UNESCO are also a part of this initiative. People or villages that had no work because of lack of livestock or what not now have something to look forward to. With the help of the money they receive, they can also help expand their village and make it rather superior. Indian Institute of Technology is also thinking of joining hands with them in order to improve the current methods of working and packaging.

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