27 October, 2020

Nutrition Warriors | How Shaikh Razia Turned Mahua Flowers From An Alcoholic Drink To A Health Tonic

Razia is a microbiologist and had exploited the superfood quality of the Mahua flower to be a panacea for lactating mothers and growing children

Nutrition Warriors | How Shaikh Razia Turned Mahua Flowers From An Alcoholic Drink To A Health Tonic
outlookindia.com
2020-01-29T14:56:20+05:30

The mere mention of mahua gives one a high. Found in the forests of central and north India, the flowers are traditionally fermented to produce an alcoholic drink. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, locals also make laddoos from mahua flowers. When Shaikh Razia, a 33-year-old microbiologist, decided to make laddoos more popular than alcohol among locals in her hometown, Jagdalpur, district headquarters of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, it looked like a tough task. Two years later, mahua laddoos are a commercial hit—and not just in Jagdalpur. “Today, we are unable to meet the demand. Now I aim to bring in the latest in food-processing technology, for which I need investment.”

It was after finishing her MSc in microbiology from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, that Razia had returned to Jagdalpur and started thinking of doing something for the adivasis of the region. A group of 10 women who had come to Jagdalpur from Kamanar, a village in the district, told her that they wanted to make and sell mahua ­laddoos for a living. Adivasi women make the laddoos for...

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