Swachhta Cafes in HP to promote regional cuisine, curb plastic use

Shimla, October 25, 2020: The State Government would set up around 100 Swachhta cafe with an estimated cost of around Rs. 10 crore in the state by the year 2023, stated Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar.
He said that the government aims to set up 10 such “Swachhta Café” at important locations of the state with an estimated cost of rupees one crore with a target to collect 25 tonnes of single use plastic items from different parts of the state by end of this financial year to achieve, clean, green and plastic free Himachal Pradesh.
Virender Kanwar said that the State Government is laying special emphasis on cleanliness, women empowerment and promotion of regional cuisines in the hilly state.
In this regard, the government had launched a mega public outreach programme namely “Swachta Café” under which plastic wastes will be purchased from the ragpickers, individuals collecting waste from households and urban local bodies at Rs. 75 per kilogram in exchange for food or other eatable items in order to motivate the ragpickers and individuals to keep their surroundings clean.
The Swachhta cafe will be constructed under “Village Haat Scheme” where women will also be facilitated to sell medicinal plants, such as giloye, peppermint, neem leave powder and homemade pickles, murabba, wheat flour, pulses, spices and vegetables vat reasonable prices to create additional income resources to the rural women of the area besides providing these items at reasonable rates to the local residents.
The swachhta cafe scheme has been launched to provide effective means of livelihood to the rural poor women of the region.
The women running the Swachhta Cafe will be given training in the hospitality sector to enable them to cook popular traditional delicious cuisine to maintain original flavour and taste of the dishes in order to make this scheme popular and attractive among common masses and around 100 such women will be trained by the hospitality experts during the current financial year.
A target has been fixed to train around five thousand women belonging to self-help groups in next three years in the hospitality sector to run these cafe on professional lines to make them economically viable and to generate interest of local clientele to make the scheme successful.
The first Swachhta Café was inaugurated at Gram Panchayat Radiali in Nalagarh area in Solan, which is to be run by women self-help groups and another cafe would be opened at Naggar in Kullu Districts.
Under the scheme if a person brings more plastic waste, then he can use the surplus money for dining in next time in the cafe.
The Minister said that the programme aims that villages are made completely free of single-use plastic in coming years and the entire state will be covered under the scheme in phased manner in the coming years.

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