Written by Sahithi Divi
Pootharekulu were first made in a small village of east godavari district of Andhra Pradesh estimated almost three centuries ago. Currently 400 families depend on this traditional sweet making / selling as a livelihood. This is made mostly by women and marketed by the men of the home. Poothareku has a cultural importance in the custom rituals, ceremonies and festivals. There is a high demand for overseas sale of Poothrekulu as well.
Driving accross the canopies of large maiden trees lead by banana fields altered with papaya plants and while on the right , the canal outlined with coconut trees shadows a welcoming and a beautiful village vibe. You will be able to see collections of packed Pootharekulu being sold on one side of the road. It brings internal joy to stop by one of their homes where they set up this stall for selling the sweet and just talk to them. The whole experience of closely watching this beautiful art and how it actually converts into wide market scope.
Rural innovation must not disrupt what is coming from centuries. While I understand the demand for pootharekulu , what are the challenges/ Opportunities I forsee for this tradition ?
- Only 400 families are making pootharekulu
- Although this art is not limited to caste yet there is a large scope of lack of inheritance of skill
- Irreplaceable by technology , might bring quality issues when needed in large quantities
- Packaging innovation required
- Lack of action plan for increasing the number of skilled people
- Sustainable marketing and scaling
- Scope of online teaching
- Tourism opportunities
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Written by Sahithi Divi (source : http://www.impactscientist.com ) Volunteering credits : Ganesh Kalyan