BENGALURU: A neatly ironed white chef's apron hangs across Usha, as she opens her steel almirah in her room. She puts it on, combs her hair back into a bun and rushes to catch her early morning bus to work.
Not too long ago the 23-year-old along with Hemavathi, 22, and Deepa, 24, were unemployed, struggling to make ends meet with their household expenses. Things are different now. The social organisations they were part of have ensured all three are employed. They are today part of Asia's first all-women food truck in Bengaluru.
The clock strikes nine in the morning as the three assemble at the Central Kitchen to help cook primary recipes for the food truck, which is to be put together later in the day, while serving customers. Some of the food is pre-cooked while most of it is cooked in the truck. The food truck — 7th Sin — serves 'glocal cuisine' – a global cuisine with an Indian twist, says Archana Singh, the founder.
“Food fatigue is something a lot of people are faced with and we want to bring in new flavours, comforting food and something that will suit all needs. Be it our fresh salads, malai veggie risotto, biryani rice rissotto, Indonesian or Srilankan biriyanis, quesadilla with chettinad sides, and Indo-Pan Asian rice bowls, all with comforting Indian twists to it,” she says as she rushes in to ensure the truck is set for the day.
The truck make its way to an IT park, where the team has been called to serve employees.
Her CEO Praveena Nandu, who is also a dancer is a friend she has known from past four years now, informs the 32-year-old.
This mother of a seven-year-old daughter proudly looks on as her team tosses in a salad and a chicken tikka pasta for a customer.
"My girls on the truck come from underprivileged backgrounds, some have even been victims of domestic violence. A few on the truck are the only breadwinners of their families. They are not trained chefs but have been trained and mentored by our team of in-house chefs and now can whip up any cuisine from any part of the world and also manage the finances of the truck. They are hardworking and quick learners," she says.
Some of the women on the truck are uneducated, but have zeal to earn and support their families .
Archana hired freshers from a foundation that works for the upliftment of underprivileged women. The women were then trained for five months by experts in every aspect of running a food truck. The driver of the truck was also hired from the foundation.
"I would like to launch trucks in Hyderabad and Chennai soon. Right now the focus is to get people to try the food, reach out to a larger audience, continue to employ underprivileged women as we expand and grow," she says.
The food truck that drives on girl power, food and philanthropy works six days in a week and serves free food on the seventh day at temples, churches and mosques.
The team plans to tie up with NGOs and orphanages to serve free food for those in need.
Every Wednesday is Women's day at the 7th Sin, where women customers can enjoy their meals at a flat rate.