Moving Inspiration

Pune

This self help group has steered an all-women restaurant-on-wheels onto Pimpri roads

As a blazing red double decker bus, long out of fashion with PMPML, moved on to the roads in Pimpri-Chinchwad, it drew curious eyeballs both from commuters and citizens. While two-wheeler riders tried to get close to it, motorists peered out from their four-wheelers. The curiosity continued to peak as it moved along. The bus drove up to Bhakti Shakti chowk in Nigdi, where the curtains where finally lifted. It was not a brand new bus testing road-worthiness, but a restaurant that will move around in town and cater to the taste buds of the hoi polloi. Aptly named 'Swamini's Meals on Wheels', the restaurant is the brainchild of Swamini Bachat Gat, a self-help group working in the Yamunanagar area of Pimpri-Chinchwad. This is the second biggest project of the SHG, after a manufacturing unit that it set up two years ago.

Amidst loud cheers and hundreds of smiling faces, Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma inaugurated the restaurant on Sunday afternoon. He wasted no time in rushing into the bus and getting a feel of the restaurant and its menu. "It is a unique project. It is very impressive. Significantly, women are the driving force," he said while applauding the efforts of Swamini members. The SHG has 156 members, several of whom turned up with their families for the launch.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of 26 - all on the upper floor. The lower floor houses the kitchen, a water facility, a refrigerator and other paraphrenalia. "At any given point of time, there will be six staffers in the restuarant. We are also going to train the driver to do the restaurant job," said Sulbha Ubale, Shiv Sena corporator and head of the Swamini Bachat Gat.

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