For the past several years, a group of women meet up every day, put on an apron, cover their hair and make sure that their nails are clean before they begin to work on satiating the hunger of workers in the industrial hub of Hosur nearby.
This is the all-woman chapathi-making unit that has been functioning in a tiny village called Kothakondapalli, 6.5 km from the industrial town Hosur for over eight years now. Each group has got its own two room-building in the chapathi unit.
The unit is managed by six women Self Help Groups (SHGs), said Ms. N. Thimmakka of Mariamman Mahalir Group, one of the six SHGs.
There are six SHGs (eleven members in each SHG) working two days a week for two shifts preparing about 10,000 chapathis under hygienic conditions. Every day, two SHGs are engaged in production of chapathis in two shifts — 8.a.m to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The SHGs procure wholesale wheat atta from a leading atta company in Bangalore.
Each member of the group adopts measures of personal hygiene, whether it is covering their hair, cleansing feet with potassium permanganate or washing hands with liquid soap, before entering the premises. The SHGs do not face any marketing difficulties, as they are supplying their entire produce to TVS, Gabriel, Ashok Leyland and a few other companies in and around Hosur town on a daily basis. The Srinivasan Services Trust (SST) run by the TVS Group is the main patron for this group endeavour.
Ms. Thimmakka of Marriamman Mahalir Group said that each member will get around Rs. 3,000 per month as salary for working two days in a week. Apart from this, they also get Rs. 5000 as bonus every year.