With green bazaars mushrooming all over the city as people are becoming more health conscious, the more the merrier seems to be the mantra now. Dakshin Pete is another such initiative which aims to be a marketplace for everything organic from whole grain bakes and native chutney pudis to hand-crafted soaps. A monthly event, it conceptualised by three childhood friends from south Bangalore, the organic mandi, as the organisers intend, is to help participants reconnect with the earth. To begin with, they are planning to organise the first market on October 20 at Chavdi, Jayanagar.
With a blueprint at the back of the trio's minds for the past two years, it was when Mayura Kadur, Kaavya Nag and Mahima Vijendra got together a month ago that they thought that this long-pending dream could now be realised.
"Kaavya and I started Do Bandar, a store selling natural, handmade body products last year," says Mayura. And the two found that over the course of the year, they had developed a network of 'like-minded people' from whom they sourced organic products and produce locally and that is how the ground was laid.
When asked what led to their interest in sustainable goods in the first place, Mahima attributes it to their education. "It probably had to do with our school environment. We studied at Valley School where we had melas all the time," she says, adding that while such gatherings had become a norm for the three friends during their school days, when they looked around for similar platforms in South Bangalore after they passed out, they were at a loss.
"There are places that showcase organic products, but we found that we had to go all the way to Indiranagar or someplace else. There seemed to be none in south Bangalore and nothing as intimate as the space we'd envisioned," says Mahima.
Though the friends admit that there are innumerable stores which sell organic products and restaurants that retain a sense of homeliness in their service despite the wave of commercialisation that has hit the town over the past decade and a half or so, a gathering where buyers and farmers meet, they feel, is rare.
"What we want to set up is something like a santhe or a mandi, but with focus on organic produce. It's not just about food, we also want this to be a place where people pick out other things that they need for their homes; products that exude the same spirit of being organic and sustainable," says Mahima, who was a sustainability consultant and is now between jobs, devoting her time to the pete.