Woman Empowerment Lijjat Papad Way

| SamvadaWorld Staff

The Lijjat Papad cooperative employs women across India as ‘co-owners’ of the enterprise, whose ‘Papads’ have become a byword for good business and Woman empowerment.

Lijjat Papad, a multi-million-dollar venture today, was founded by seven women in a crowded Mumbai tenement in 1959 with seed capital of rupees 80.

Any woman who pledges to adopt the institution’s values and who has respect for quality can become a member and co-owner of the organisation. The cooperative mandates those involved in the rolling of the papads also need to have a clean house and space to dry the papads they roll every day. Those who do not have this facility can take up any other responsibilities, like kneading dough or packaging or testing for quality.

Decentralisation and the philosophy of Sarvodaya have guided the Lijjat Papad cooperative since its inception. There are Sanchalikas, or supervisors, for each centre to look after the daily affairs of a centre but any member can take any initiative or decision. A committee decides how the profits are to be distributed and everyone gets an equal share of profit, irrespective of who does what work, irrespective of seniority or responsibility.

The member-sisters have used their organisation as a medium to promote the welfare of their families’ and that of their village or surroundings. Many women associated with Lijjat Papad have set up vocational training, educational and hobby centres for rural women and children. Lijjat member-sisters have undertaken many social service activities like providing education and food for poor children, rehabilitation of people affected by natural calamities and more.

Today, the cooperative employs over 45,000 women across 17 states in its 82 branches and has a turnover of Rupees 1810 crore with Rupees 80 crores worth of exports.

Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, co-founder of Lijjat Papad cooperative was honoured with Padma Shri in 2021 for her distinguished work in the Trade and Industry category.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *