With an aim towards making unemployed women self-reliant, the New Delhi Municipal Council has launched a unit where they will be given training to prepare quality food products and then sell it through a tiffin service.

Announced in April this year, the project was implemented last week with the setting up of a canteen, ‘Urja’, at Gole Market here. The concept has been based on the successful tiffin service in Mumbai, civic body officials said.

Under this project, women will be provided skill training after which they will be employed in a factory set-up for production of eatables.

“Initially, 30 women have been engaged for the pilot project. For this, preference would be given to needy widows and under privileged women,” said NDMC chairperson Jalaj Shrivastava said.

Trained workers will prepare home cooked food with the menu of dal, rice, vegetables and chappatis at a minimum cost of Rs 40 per tiffin on a regular working day basis.

High standard of hygienic, nutritional value, and lower price are the key highlights of this tiffin system, Shrivastava said.

Initially. the initiative has been started for the NDMC staff and after its success, it will be extended to the staff of nearby offices.

“NDMC has provided them skill training after which they will be in a job in the canteen set-up for manufacturing of eatables and other goods of everyday consumption. We have also roped in Delhi Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Lajpat Nagar to equip the women with improved cooking skills,” the chairperson said.

The civic agency has set up this infrastructure with a capital amount of Rs 10 lakh and has started mounting equipment and machineries for wrapping and packaging.

The kitchen is under strict monitoring for hygienic level and nutritional value of the food cooked every day. The women are also manufacturing the products of daily needs such as papad, pickles, ‘masala’ etc, Shrivastava said.

Mumbai’s famed dabbawala network of delivering nearly two lakh tiffin boxes to offices every day also involves supply of home cooked meals by women entrepreneurs working from home.