A common saying goes that "chefs don’t make mistakes, they make new dishes". This is the story of our ever-ready and passionate head chef Vimlesh Ji and our remarkable kitchen staff Rajrani Ji who help hold the fort in the Foodshaala kitchen. Their stories, alike yet different, are testaments to the commitment and zeal of this Nathupur village community that is working together for the cause of healthy food for all. Foodshaala’s mission is to enable people to choose and access healthy food; Vimlesh Ji and Rajrani Ji have been instrumental in moving towards this mission.
Here are the stories of these women warriors:
Vimlesh Ji, Head Chef
"I was a homemaker earlier. My husband is an auto driver and was struggling to make loan repayments for his auto. Now, I have also started earning through Foodshaala and contribute towards the repayment. My children have started taking tuitions in addition to their regular school.
I have also gained a lot of confidence since I joined. Earlier, I used to cover my face with a dupatta whenever I stepped outside my house. But I now go for food delivery without covering my face with a dupatta or bothering about such traditional practices.
I want Foodshaala to grow so more and more women like me can work here and lead better lives.”
Rajrani Ji, Kitchen Helper
Rajrani Ji is the mother of 4 children. One of her daughters got married recently while the others are pursuing their education. Her husband works as a security guard. She gives a lot of importance to the education of her children and the income from Foodshaala has helped her to provide her with more means to spend on their education and tuition. A keen comrade to Vimlesh Ji, she is always ready to help in chopping vegetables, kneading the flour, and maintaining hygiene in the kitchen. She is a keen learner and ever-ready to fill in shoes for our head chef whenever required.
The stories of Vimlesh Ji and Rajrani Ji show how women can contribute towards the cause of food and nutrition security, while breaking societal barriers within their own households. They have been the backbone of our kitchen and deserve a shoutout for their efforts!
Written by Shikhar Singh Bhadwal, Volunteer at Foodshaala Foundation.