By Mohini Sharma (VUCCD News Service)
Indore, Oct 24 – The Covid 19 has further brought together the fraternity of the Mithai and
Namkeen producers in the country. They have learned to take initiative not only to better
their business, but also care of their staff help fellow halwais.
Take the case of the Bhanwarilal Mithaiwala in Indore district of Madhya Pradesh. The
owners of a chain of four shops have themselves learned the need and importance of the
government rules and regulations. As the founder of the business group in 1945, Bhanwarilal
Saini, and his seven generations have established the quality and business ethical norms
followed by the present generation.
The Covid 19 taught the Sainis something their forefathers and their peers have not heard of
during their time. It related to the norms set by the government and the FSSAI (Food Safety
and Standards Authority of India). Mr. Anil, one of the four Sainis of the current generation,
took the responsibility of organising the training as the Secretary of Mithai and Namkeen
Association in India from last two years. His brothers– Praveen, Naveen, and Sunil — and
their peers in the Association joined in to understand the changes and the need for
upgradation in the industry.
The Corona was a global calamity and everyone in the trade did not grumble in following the
new guidelines and norms. Mr Praveen recalls that when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi
made the first announcement of the lockdown the Mithai and Farsaan business trade did not
hesitate to respond to the government directives. Not only the Bhanwarilal Mithaiwala but the
entire business in the country responded without any hesitation.
They distributed all the prepared Mithais and farsaans freely to the police and other
government staff on duty. They dumped all the extra raw material without caring for the
losses they had to incur. The Bhanwarilal Mithaiwala paid salary to a total of 80 members of
staff works during the lockdown period along with the two meals a day. and daily two times
meal during the lockdown. Similar gesture was offered by the mithai shops in the country.
Mr Praveen says the staff of the shops had in the country faced unforeseen difficulties even
after the unlock. In his own shop, for example, ten members from the family of 20 contracted
COVID positive on 5 th September. They immediately shut all the shops and factory, tested
every worker. They had to dump tonnes of mithais prepared for the weekend. After sitting for
months at home, they again have to self-quarantined for around a month.
Now, the owners and staff of the Sainis know the norms and follow a drill meticulously, with
the help of the Arogya Setu app they disinfect all the shops, the factory and their houses. The Bhanwarilal Mithaiwala’s have attended around 10 sessions of FSSAI on working in unlock. They have participated in the tests and got certified each of them.
‘Every worker wears a mask, gloves, and caps all the time. Medical check-ups are done quarterly. Temperature and oximeter are checked three times and get full body sanitised four times a day.
‘The staff follows the drill meticulously. When the alarm rings in every 50 minutes, leave the work, get hands washed, sanitised, dry and then return to work.
‘They insisted on not increasing the staff for Diwali and the festive season and work in limit for the security purpose and under government norms’, he says.
SGM Abhilash Mishra appreciated their work and sites their work as examples to other shopkeepers for showing loyalty and trustful service.
A senior military officer from Delhi recently visited their factory, was highly impressed with their laboratory process and decided to set their 35 messes of the army same as Bhanwarilal’s.
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Author: Mohini Sharma
Class: 2 nd Year, Journalism and Mass Communication Department, Vishwakarma University, Pune
Mentors: Prof Vaibhav Thakare/Prof Dr Kiran Thakur, Vishwakarma University, Centre of
Communication for Development (VUCCD), Pune