“Bachat Gat Yojana” is a Project initiated by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for Basti women. In this project, the under the scheme of “Bachat Gat” a group of five to six ladies from a particular basti come together to learn a skill so as to make an earning through it. As part of many activities to make the city self-reliant and progressive the BMC through this project help women to learn and earn their livelihood.
Helping the BMC in this philanthropic and benevolent venture, Bosco Boys Home, (BBH) Borivali collaborated with BMC in its “Bachat Gat Yojana” Project to train the Basti women of the nearby bastis of Borivali: MHB Colony, LIC Colony, IC Colony, Gorai, Charkop, Chikuwadi, Babhai Naka.
BBH offered their facilities and instructors to train the Basti women in the skills of Bakery and Cookery along with short term courses on Soft Skills and Spoken English this academic year. BBH managed to train 60 women through 2 batches conducted between the months of December, 2018 to March, 2019. Reflecting on the words of St. John Bosco “making good and honest citizens”, Fr. Corlis Gonsalves the Director of the Institute said, “It is a great initiative under taken by BMC for the women of our society and we at BBH are very proud to be part of this programme.”
The Bakery classes were taught by Baker Mrs. Rowena Ferreria. She shared, “These ladies were so happy to just come here and getaway from their daily chores at home. They were very eager to learn new things and also made new friends. I taught them 30 dishes in Bakery comprising of cupcakes, cakes, brownies, biscuits and breads.” In the cookery section the women were trained by Chef Almitra Cheulkar. The women were given recipes of 80 to 85 dishes and were taught to prepare 25 dishes practically. Chef Cheulkar said, “I always believed that one should learn what will help one in life. That is why I gave them 80 to 85 recipes with the help of which they can start up any catering business. While teaching them I also kept in mind that to teach them cost effective recipes wherein they would not require to invest lots of money for buying expensive things to prepare food.”
The project comprised of demonstration of the dishes and asking the group to prepare and bring the dishes demonstrated the next day they come to class. The women were asked to maintain Journals and attendance register was maintained. The women were evaluated through practical exam held at the end of the course. The women were also taught to do proper costing of the food items and how to fix up the prices of the food before selling it.
It was not all learn and no fun. During the courses, the women made many friends and also celebrated festivals like Makar Sankranti, even a special Haldi- Kumkum programme was also arranged by the women in which the instructors also took part whole heartedly. Farewell Part was also organised.
“The “Bachat Gat Yojana” is actually introduced by the BMC for women with a great intention to make them self- reliant, self- sufficient and to empower them to support their families. We at BBH, tried our best to train these women in such a way that they may start earning for themselves. We intend to train at least 50 and more basti women each year.” Dn. Romero D’Souza, the Principal of the Institute expressed.
Mrs. Samiksha Darne from Gorai, one of the students of this project shared. “It was a very enriching experience for me. This was like a breath of fresh air I got to learn so many new recipes and also made so many friends. The instructors were also very caring and friendly and made us feel comfortable. I thank BMC and BBH for this beautiful and generous help they have offered to us.”