Drawing inspiration from online shopping majors such as Amazon and Flipkart and their shopping festivals, is Utsav, an online shopping fiesta by Kudambashree Mission. The fete, which began yesterday, features products such as handicrafts, jewellery, bags, masks, umbrellas, masalas and kitchen utensils made by self-entrepreneurs. The festival concludes on November 19.
According to KR Shaiju, District Coordinator Kudambashree, Utsav has been timed to coincide with the Diwali festivities. “More and more people are turning to online shopping these days. We encourage customers to buy local by offering attractive offers on our online portal www.kudambashreebazaar.com during the festive season. The fete is not just a platform for the women of Kudambashree to showcase their products, but also a way for them to earn money. Many women of the various Kudambashree units were financially hit during the Covid-19 lockdown. We also hope to promote the site and build a loyal customer base through the fiesta,” says he, adding that Kudambashree has tied up with India Post for delivery of the goods to buyers. “Shipment will be free across the country during the fete.”
Kudambashree Mission has recently launched Pink Café, a “restaurant on wheels” to create more job opportunities for its members. A joint venture by the Thiruvananthapuram district Kudambashree Mission and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), an abandoned KSRTC bus has been converted into a restaurant. Pink Café, which was inaugurated yesterday, will serve steamed dishes.
“We have decided to serve steamed food so as to promote healthy food habits among the public,” says Shaiju. The Café will be manned by five trained Kudambashree members and will be open from 6 am to 10 pm. The bus, which is parked at East Fort, can accommodate 10 diners. Take-away services are available. “Vegetables and the meat required to prepare the dishes will be sourced from Kudambashree’s farms and poultry units,” says Shaiju.
Café Kudumbashree, another revamped KRSTC bus, will be launched shortly at Thampanoor. Café Kudambashree will serve ethnic food. According to Shaiju similar such ventures will be introduced in other districts in Kerala based on the success of Pink Café and Café Kudambashree. “If all goes well, we will be setting up similar restaurants in Attingal, Vamanapuran, Nedumangad and Varkala.”
Janakeeya hotel, an initiative introduced by the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation and Kudambashree Mission during the Covd-19 lockdown is doing well. Around 64 such hotels are functioning in the district with more to be added soon.