An annual fair in Prayagraj
There is a huge surge of demand and consumption of khoya on the occasion of Holi festival in and around Prayagraj. It has also been reported widely that during this period, large amount of adulterated khoya make their way into the market endangering the health of unsuspecting consumers.
To address the issue of adulterated khoya, in year 2015, e-PAHEL and Gramin Bank started organizing Khoya Mela in Prayagraj on the occasion of Holi. The idea was not only to create awareness about the poor quality milk products but also facilitate the availability of quality and good products.
The first mela was organized on a small scale and more on an experimental basis. There was an overwhelming response and positive feedback from the various stakeholders. The sellers got a platform to sell their products on one hand and on the other, quality conscious consumers got an avenue for their purchase. In this three days event, over 300 kg of khoya was sold. One of the attractions in mela was the booth where buyers can check the quality of the milk and khoya. However, the main highlight of the event was the participation of two Self Help Groups (SHGs). These groups were driven by women. This event not only facilitated some additional income to their venture but also empowered their entrepreneurial skills.
The mela got a major boost when NABARD joined this initiative in 2016 by supporting 10 stalls. The scope of the mela was widened with the inclusion of some Holi snacks like papad, gujhia, aachar, etc in addition of khoya and other milk products. This had resulted in participation of more SHGs. Khoya Mela has provided an opportunity to the SHGs to reach out to a new set of customers who are not only quality conscious but also willing to pay for that. The sale was over 5 lacs with the participation of 10 SHGs. In 2017 the sale increased to over Rs 7.5 lacs with the participation of 10 SHGs and one Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO).
The success of 2016 and 2017 khoya mela clearly demonstrates that this interface between the SHGs and quality conscious consumers was evolving well.
The mela also drew the attention of the media which provided wide range coverage to the event. However, the real success of Kyoya Mela goes much beyond this. It has encouraged women to explore their entrepreneurial skills which has helped them to earn more not only during the event but also through out the year.
As 2018 mela, women group also enthusiastically participated. A training programme was also organized for them. This is a life changing experience for them as it addresses one of the key issues of their lives – livelihood.
Participate in next Khoya mela!