Raipur, March 9
Chhattisgarh, also known as ‘Rice Bowl’, has a traditional way of extracting rice from “Dheki”. Earlier every house in the village had a dheki. Dheki processed rice tastes very delicious and also nutritious, so there is a good demand for Dheki processed rice even today in the metropolitan cities. This innovative initiative has been started to make women self-reliant from Dheki processed rice in the Dantewada district.
The Dheki based rice processing unit has been started by the state government in the Katekalyan Gram Panchayat in 2022 in which 15 didi’s of women self-help groups are working. Paddy required are being brought from nearby villages, benefitting indirectly more than 100 women. Apart from this, more than 90 dheki’s are ready to use which will give employment to more people. Dheki based Rice is being launched in the market with the brand name DANNEX i.e. Dantewada NEXT, a Dantewada district-based brand.
Farmers in Dantewada are using organic manure for producing rice that is chemical-free and is completely healthy. Organically produced indigenous species are used to prepare Dheki processed rice. After harvesting, the work of cleaning and packing the rice has also been given to the women.
It is worth mentioning that Dheki is an old-style rice mill. It is made of long hardwood and is used by pressing with the foot on one side and an iron pestle is fixed on the other. Paddy filled in an oval-shaped wooden container placed just below the iron pestle. When iron pestle weight hit with force to the paddy, the golden husk separates from the rice.