At a military garrison in Samba, Jammu district, widows of martyrs have come together to establish a social entrepreneurial venture called Olive Green Cookies.
This collective of women, working in collaboration with Aseem Foundation, a Pune-based non-profit, began baking cookies made of high-quality apples and walnuts grown in the region nearly one and a half months ago.
“A group of widows were trained by the foundation which also provided necessary equipment for production of cookies. Currently, 10 kg of cookies are baked by these women daily,” an Indian Army officer supervising the initiative told the Press Trust of India.
According to the officer-in-charge, who didn’t wish to be named, the Army transports these cookies twice a month to the Pune-based NGO, where the product is packaged and eventually marketed. Priced at Rs 55 per packet, these cookies are currently sold to corporate customers in big cities.
Through this venture, the army hopes that widows of martyrs can find gainful employment and some semblance of independence, instead of merely depending on pension cheques. The venture is currently at a nascent stage, and efforts are on to include more such women.
“Koshur Krunch” (Kashmiri delicious) is written on the top of the packet, which carries the message that every cookie is infused with the flavour of valour and sacrifice,” reports PTI.
“Made by the hands of women of courage of Samba district, Olive Green Cookies tell a story of fighting the odds after losing a near and dear one in the line of duty. These war widows have the grit and determination to embrace fate with a stern will and pride themselves in being called ‘Veer Nari’.
“With the purchase of every pack of Olive Green Cookies, you are saluting not only the brave martyr but also supporting the indomitable spirit of war widows,” reads the message on the packet.
Profits from the venture are shared by the participating widows.
“It is in keeping with the Army’s tradition of looking after the families of its soldiers,” Lt Col Devender Anand, Defence spokesperson, told PTI.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)