Hamirpur, April 2
Traditional Himachali cuisine served in a bamboo hut at Chowgan in the town of Sujanpur Tihra has added a new flavor to the Holi festivities which continue here, although the festival ended on March 18. being served. Local craftsmen built the hut and self-help groups in the area run the food outlet. People come here to enjoy traditional dishes including ‘makki ki roti’ with ‘sarson ka saag’, ‘urad ki khichari’, ‘gehun ka seera’, ‘sepu bari’ and kangri dham.
The Holi festival ended on March 18 but the festivities continue in the city and hundreds of people still visit the festival site every day.
Raja Sansar Chand of the Katoch dynasty had launched the Holi festival nationwide in 1796 and since then it has become the most popular festival in the region.
Poonam Dhiman, coordinator of Keshav SHG, which runs the catering outlet, says it is difficult to meet the demand for food as the number of guests always exceeds expectations. “In such a situation, we also have to serve fast food. The women received great support from the district administration to set up the catering point,” she adds.
Seema Devi of the Shiva Self-Help Group says people have also placed orders for the construction of bamboo huts. She adds that she came to the fair for the first time and it helped their SHG to sell their products and increase their income. “We will come better prepared next time,” she said. SHGs also sell products such as pickles, jams, sewai, seera, loom and handicrafts, she adds.
Deputy Commissioner Debasweta Banik said the women’s self-help groups have helped improve their economy by selling their products. They have become more confident and independent, she adds.