Bhokrichya Paalichi bhaji, Huruloo, Udachya bhuja, Khurasani and Karwandachi chutney… if your interest is piqued then head over to Bhimthadi Jatra to sample these indigeniuos food from the adivasis across Mahararastra. In their 11th year this year, the theme is of introducing the tribal community of Maharashtra which is over 73 lakhs according to the census in 1991.
The brainchild of Sunanda Rajendra Pawar, who planned this Jatra as a platform for helping create a medium for rural women to display and connect with their products and produce.
Now in their 11th year, though later from their usual December sojourn, she hopes that this year too it will be a success. “Six months ago, I met with the adivasi tribes from Palghar, Mokhada, Melghat, Dhule where I was invited to see their unique cooking competition. When I saw what they could create, I requested them to be part of this year’s Bhimthadi Jatra,” explains Sunanda.
There are around 400 adivasis who will give a glimpse into their mundane life through food, food produce and culture. “We want to bring to the fore the cutural aspect of the lives of adivasis through their dances. You will get to see their folk dances like Dhol Naaz from the Thakar and Warli Adivasis, the Tarpa and Karki dance from the Korku adivasis of Melghat, Dhule.”
We have a wealth of diversity in our state and we want to showcase as much as we can through the Jatra. The three-day Jatra has 25 stalls dedicated to produce and artifacts from the adivasis, 80 for traditional food, 50 stalls for farmers for their produce which are organic and as fresh as one can get and 200 stalls for women to showcase their small scale unit produces. “Their products, art and culture should get a platform, hence everything from honey, jaggery to organically grown food grains are here for sale.”
The three-day jatra will also showcase concerts like Maharashtrachi lokdhara, Maatibaani and Kabir café besides the food stalls. Food stalls are a huge draw every year and we attempt to give or introduce new kitchens and traditional foods.
“We also had a photography competition where the winners will be felicitated on March 5. We have a tie-up with Uber of 30 per cent to facilitate people to visit the Jatra”
“All the participating women are from rural Maharashtra and this is where we help them give a boost for their product. All we wish for the people in Pune that they should come and motivate them and buy their products. Our motto was to connect the women directly with the client. And this has proved a successful model,” explains Sunanda.
“Online trading is new on the anvil, where we will be the mediator as Bhimthadi brand and we will launch it here. We tried it on a small scale in Baramati and Indapur where 15 women started their smallscale projects which we financed”
Varsha Parchure, CEO Parivartan Mahila Sanstha is the person leading the 400 odd adivasis into setting up the stalls which truly take you to their humble abode. Every year, we hold wild vegetables’ competition to preserve the tradition of the adivasi community. More than 175 vegetables are cooked and they are aware of the medicinal purposes of each. This NGO works in 60 hamlets and we held the competition between 22 hamlets where more than 500 women participated.
“They are elated to have been given the opportunity to present what they cook in their homes in the hilly areas and also introduce traditional foods,” states Varsha as the women shyly place their humble food which is fantastic in taste.
A must visit!
Time: 10 am to 10 pm