BANGALORE: The story behind the avarekai mela is: Ensure fair pricing for avarekai and encouragement for nearly 200 farmers to continue farming. The woman behind the enterprise is: Geetha Srinivasan. She started a snack business 18 years ago in her house at Mavalli to support her husband financially. Some of her innovations in food like the Avarekai Nippattu, and Chakkali are now legendary with NRIs often found blogging about the snacks.
Soon, she started preparing Kolar Khara mixture, a dish made of Channa Dal with garlic mixture masala. These products were sold in bakeries shops at Hanumanagar, Srinivasnagar and surrounding areas. “I started my shop Sri Vasavi Condiments with a loan of Rs 30,000 initially. It was difficult in the beginning stages to get the products marketed but now I have carved for myself a space in the market.”
Her husband and her son help her venture now. Her husband, who was an organiser at Bharath Scouts and Guides organisation, opted for voluntary retirement to support and encourage his wife, Geetha, in her activities. “In the early stages, my brother lent a helping hand. Once he got married, my husband supported me in the activities I was involved in.”
Geetha has given a ray of hope to 15 permanent members, who involve themselves in preparing the snacks. There are over 40 members currently working in her unit. So, what next for her? This year, Geetha plans to extend her support to many families in need of financial help. We wish her luck.