Making papad for a livelihood

Making papad for a livelihood

Papads are spread over long sheets of cloth, all over the terraces and roofs...
A strong aroma of masalas hangs in the air...
Kalloodi, a village in Chikkaballapur district, is synonymous with papad
making. In fact, it is one of the largest producers of papads in the district, and it is a major source of livelihood in many villages in Gauribidanur taluk.

Although agriculture has been their main occupation, the villagers are now looking for other sources of income, due to reduced water levels.

 Two decades ago, when open wells in the taluk were full of water, Kalloodi
people grew finger millet, chilli and maize, along with rearing silkworms. Now, groundwater level has gone down, reducing water availability not only in openwells, but also borewells. Resultantly, 75 per cent of the 1,500 families in the
village are engaged in papad making. This, along with making some other eatables, has become the primary source of income for many families.

For those engaged in agriculture, it is an additional source of income. For
Manjunath’s family, making papads is a part-time activity. “We get busy only from 6am till 10am, after which, we go to the fields to carry out our agricultural duties,” he says. Naturally, it has helped improve the economic status of many of them.
Explains Narayanappa, whose family is engaged in papad making,
“About 700 papads are prepared in two hours, between 7am and 9am and then dried. The dried papads are packed in polythene bags for sale. Pricing of these vary: Papads neatly packed in polythene covers are sold at Rs.45 a kilogram, while papads sold in loose are priced at Rs.25 a kilogram. They are filled into 10 to 15 auto rickshaws, daily, and taken to the railway station, to be sold in Yelahanka, Ramnagar, Doddaballapur and Hindupur.”

Success of this venture has inspired residents of Gangasandra, Puttapurlahalli, Gotakanapura and other villages to try a hand at papad production.

T Nanjundappa
(Translated by Chitra Phalguni)

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