HRAWI’s Project Pickle initiative receives accolades at India CSR Leadership Summit & Awards 2017

At a recently held forum in India’s Corporate Social Responsibility sector, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) won an award for the initiative ‘Project Pickle’. Initiated in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, the project is aimed at providing employment to over one lac self-help Dalit women groups in rural and urban India by sourcing from them the ubiquitous everyday food item, the pickle. Project Pickle was recognized as an indigenous, one-of-its-kind initiative at India CSR Leadership Summit & Awards 2017.

As part of the programme, the association conducts an advocacy programme with both its member and non-member hotels and restaurants to purchase pickles from self-help Dalit women groups. With an estimated Rs.65-70 crore worth of pickles bought by hotels in Maharashtra, the association has aimed at sourcing as much quantity of pickle as possible from these women. A month’s supply of pickles in three to five hotels provides employment to at least ten Women’s Self Help Group (WSHG) community ladies.

While accepting the award on behalf of HRAWI, Bharat Malkani, immediate past President of the association said, “The hotel industry is one of the biggest employment generators in the country employing over one crore people. While eating out at a hotel or a restaurant, the pickle is served gratis on the table. So instead of buying the pickle from large companies, the association decided to encourage purchase from the WSHG community. This makes a marginal difference in cost to the hotel establishment but it helps in providing employment to a lot of women. Besides the social quotient of the initiative the guest or customer too will enjoy the authentic taste of the region from where the pickle is sourced, making this initiative a win-win situation for all.”

The event was inaugurated by Shri Ramdas Athawale, Hon’ble Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and over 300 eminent corporate leaders, CSR think tanks, NGO leaders, academicians, Government officers, social workers, implementing agencies from across the country were part of it.

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