Olive green cookies: A bid to empower soldiers’ widows

SAMBA: In a sprawling military garrison in Samba, a group of women are engaged in making mouth-watering cookies – a unique venture started by the Army in an effort to empower widows of its martyrs.

Samba, April 29

In a sprawling military garrison in Samba, a group of women are engaged in making mouth-watering cookies – a unique venture started by the Army in an effort to empower widows of its martyrs.

Named “Olive Green Cookies”, the Army established the social entrepreneurial project in collaboration with a Pune-based NGO, Aseem Foundation, about one and a half months back. It was formally inaugurated by zonal president, Army Wives Welfare Association, Rising Star Corps, Geetha Mohan a few days back at Samba Brigade.

“A group of widows were trained by the foundation which also provided necessary equipment for production of cookies… currently, 10 kg of cookies are made by these women daily,” said an Army officer supervising the initiative. The officer, who did not wish to be named, said the Army was transporting cookies twice a month to Pune, where the NGO is doing the packaging, and subsequently the product, which is made of the highest quality of apples and walnuts, hits the market.

He said initially the product was being sold to corporate customers in metros.

Displaying the ready-to-sell packet which costs Rs 55, he said the venture was still in its infancy and efforts were on to engage more women, especially widows of martyrs, to ensure their self-employment and financial independence.

“Koshur Krunch” (Kashmiri delicious) is written on the top of the packet, which carries the message that every cookie is infused with the flavor of valour and sacrifice.

“Made by the hands of women of courage of Samba district, Olive Green Cookies tell a story of fighting the odds after losing a near and dear one in the line of duty. These war widows have the grit and determination to embrace fate with a stern will and pride themselves in being called 'Veer Nari'.

“With the purchase of every pack of Olive Green Cookies, you are saluting not only the brave martyr but also supporting the indomitable spirit of war widows,” the message on the packet reads.

Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand termed the venture as “noble” and said the profit earned would be shared by widows which would help them to lead a better life.

“It is in keeping with the Army's tradition of looking after the families of its soldiers,” he said. — PTI

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