Sundargarh: Several women of a self-help group, Maa Laxmi Producers’ Group at Rangadhipa of Sundargarh district became self –reliant, self-dependant and economically empowered by preparing sweet dish like Spirulina Coated groundnut Millet Chikki.
Not only the members of the only SHG, but also 40 other women of 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the district have made a mark in the government’s women empowerment mission. Each member of a group earn around Rs 6,000 per month while producers’ group bag a monthly turnover of almost Rs 9 lakhs. Of this, Rs 7.00 lakhs goes towards investment and operational cost. The women engaged in the set up earns close to Rs 2.00 lakhs per month as an unit.
The monthly earning of the women plays a significant role in addressing the educational expenses of their children, they said.
Five Chikki preparation centres has opened up in the district with support from District Mineral Foundation. All the centres are being run by the women members of SHGs. They all have been trained to prepare the sweet delicacy.
One of groups is Maa Laxmi Producers Group. Around 40 women members from 10 SHG groups are active members of this centre. They work eight hours in two shifts in a day.
The producers started operating the centres since 2021. They are now able to produce 45 to 50 quintals of Spirulina Chikki every month. The items are sent to AWC centres at Lefripada, Tangarpalli, Hemgiri and Balishankara Blocks in the district.
The Chikkis are also sent to three Child Care Institutions for more than 18,000 children.
Spirulina coated Chikki is a type of sweet in which fried groundnuts are caramelized in pure Jagerry.
Jagerry is melted in large pan and fried groundnuts along with millets are added to it gradually. Once fried the mixture is allowed to be semi dried. The semi dried mixture is then poured on the large wooden plates and are rolled evenly. They are cut using sharp roller knives. They are later packed for marketing. The Chikki is very much a popular local sweet dish and extremely liked by children due to its sweetness.
Spirulina is an algae which is largely known as a superfood. It is very famous in countries like China and in some states in India. Spirulina farming is done largely in Karnatak. Gradually it has started gaining popularity in Odisha too.
Spirulina is also known as superfood as it contains high degree of proteins which are good for children. Protein contributes for physical and mental growth of the children.