Ganga Devi: Moulding Yomari for livelihood

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May 21,2019 Ganga Devi Maharjan, a resident of Sacho tole of Bungamati, was dependent on her husband’s income for daily household expenses. She loves cooking but never thought that her hobby could bring her beyond enjoyment to support to her family income. When she heard about the “Innovative Food Training” to improve the livelihood of people in Bungamati under the “Parya Sampada Project” she did not waste a second to get enrolled in the Yomari Moulding Training. Yomari, a delicacy of the Newar community for specific events, is very popular cuisine in Kathmandu valley. It is a steamed dumpling that consists of moulded rice flour that is stuffed with molasses (Chaku). The delicacy plays very important role in Newar society. This dish is normally cooked on Yomari Punhi (the full moon day of November/December) to celebrate the rice harvesting. Yomari is also prepared for the birth day celebrations particularly of the children till age 12. Although Yomari making is their tradition, the market demands quality, consistancy and competence. For this she attended five days yomari moulding training that was followed by additional seven days of on-the-job training at the Village Café Khokana. Trained Ganga Devi then joined “The Village Cage – Pulchowk”, an outlet of SABAH-Nepal, to make the yomari on the particular full-moon day of Yomari Punhi. She prepared around 150 yomaris on a single day and earned NPR 1,800 on that day. Encouraged with the income, she was determined to continue her skills that makes the customer satisfied and helps to conserve the intangible heritage of Newars. Excited with the success, Ganga Devi, together with her other participants of the training opened a food outlet in the “Lalit Trade Fair” organsied by Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce from 10-14 April, 2019. With the support of The Village Café the 'house-wives' were exposed to formal market outside their community that helped them to learn do's and dont's of the business. Talking with her after the event, she was thrilled to share her first experience ever with the team that could carry out the business worth NPR 2,50,000 in five days. Now, she is committed to organise a group and to start the food business. The project will continue to engage with Ganga Devi and her friends to support their collective efforts to entrepreneurship.