After ‘Lassi’ start-up, UP students go for pickles now

Gorakhpur, Jan 30 : The students of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gorakhpur University (DDU) in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district are now set to launch an array of organic products, including pickles, jam, jaggery and vinegar under their exclusive, self-funded start-up.

The group of eight students involved in the project plans to plough back 50 per cent of the returns from their new venture to the village from where they are sourcing their raw material.

"We have not invested more than Rs 50,000 for the new initiative and we plan to use 50 per cent of the profits for the development of our village Rampur," said Deepak Yadav, a Ph.D student and the leader of the group.

The start-up has not only made each of them self-reliant in terms of paying college fees and meeting daily expenses, but has also given an employment opportunity to 25 Dalit women from six families in the Rampur village of the neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar district.

These students have come up with the unique idea to offer free samples of their new products to existing customers before going online.

The products will be made available for sale on various online food delivery apps from this week.

The items will be prepared by the women of 'Kahar' caste in Rampur and sold in attractive earthen packaging.

"In our village, caste discrimination against Dalits still prevails.

We, too, faced criticism when we decided to rope in these women for preparing the food items," said Deepak Yadav

The same group of students had launched the now famous 'Students Lassi' last year and the venture has proved very successful.

Started with an initial investment of Rs two lakh, the annual turnover has been Rs eight lakh.

Each member of the team is tasked with a specific role.

Deepak, belonging to a Yadav family, has a number of cows at home, so he arranges for milk to prepare curd.

Ambika, a fine arts student and son of a potter, gets kulhads (earthen pots) at a much cheaper rate for packaging while law student Pragyesh Mishra plays the chef and prepares lassi of different flavors, including chocolate, pineapple, butterscotch and rose.

Salman, a post-graduate student looks after supply and Anurag Maurya, a graduate, assumes the role of creative designer for overall branding.

Nitin Tripathi and Nitesh Singh deal in marketing.

The same team is now working on the new range of products and the women from Rampur village will be preparing the pickles and jams.

Each of the women is earning between Rs 200 to 300 per day.



Source: IANS