Tribune News Service
Srinagar, February 7
Nida Ramzan, a 25-year-old woman from Astingo village in Bandipora, has given a new shape to the famed walnuts and apples of Kashmir by starting her own brand of cookies.
Named ‘Koshur Crunch - Kashmir in Every Crunch’, the cookies are made from locally grown apples and walnuts. The cookies are baked at two workshops by Nida and seven other girls in Astingo and Uri in north Kashmir.
“I always wanted to do something on my own, but I had no resources. I needed a platform and it was provided to me by Aseem Foundation, a Pune-based NGO. It helped me start my project,” says Nida, a computer application graduate. “My family also supported me in making my dream a reality,” says Nida.
In less than a year, Nida says her cookies have become known in parts of the country.
“The cookies are made here but marketed in Mumbai, Pune and other places. The response has been amazing. We don’t compromise on quality and use original locally grown products,” says Nida.
Though her project is in the initial stage, she wants to provide employment to other girls by expanding her business.
“The project is new but I am very happy that I am able to earn well and employ others. I plan to introduce other baking products also,” she says. Nida pursued her professional baking training from Pune and now she is training other girls in Uri and Bandipora.
“There is a lot of unemployment in Kashmir. Girls are educated and sitting at home because there are no jobs, so I want to work and engage them. I want to inspire others to send out a message that we can do a lot in Kashmir also,” she says.
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