Downtown

The sweet taste of service

Next month, 10 students from the CSI School for the Deaf, Santhome, will be joining the bakery for training. Photo: R. Ragu  

For G. Parimala, life assumed a new meaning in April this year. This mother of a six-year-old girl, has been on the lookout for a job ever since she left her husband’s home four years ago. In March, she received a call from Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), an NGO that extends support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, asking her to meet the manager of the Winners Bakery in Alwarpet. Since April, she has been undergoing training in the confectionary section of the bakery with a stipend and is likely to be enrolled as a permanent staff after the six-month rigorous on-the-job training. She travels to Alwarpet from Chengalpet every day.

The bakery too is on a mission to expand its services. It has admitted three other women referred by PCVC to the bakery, which was started in 2005 jointly by the Chennai Culinary Institute (run by Hot Breads) and the Rotary Club of Madras East in association with the Greater Chennai Corporation to help the underprivileged, especially school dropouts, between the ages of 16 and 25 years.

“In the last five years, 92 students have been admitted, of which only 39 were able to successfully complete the training. Opportunities abound in this sector, but the commitment to learn is essential. A lot of physical work is involved in baking and artistic skills are required for confectionary making. Though the customer base is growing, the staff strength has not grown correspondingly. So, we have started accepting references from other NGOs,” says Balu, manager.

The current batch has 12 trainees. The institute takes care of their food and transportation charges. In a day, the team makes around 60 kg of cakes, 43 other bakery items and 55 confectionary products.

Next month, a new set of trainees will join the bakery.

“Ten students from the CSI School for the Deaf will be joining in June. A regular customer made this possible,” he adds.

As the students will require extra support, two teachers from the school will be present to assist them. The bakery has a unit in Santhome.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 9:53:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/the-sweet-taste-of-service/article8629740.ece

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