ERIKA MENVRILLO 29 JANUARY 2021
Vistaraku is the green company of Madhavi and Venu Vippulancha that produces dishes made with leaves, together with the women of the Indian village of Thimmareddypalli.
Fortunately, there are more and more allies in the world in the fight against plastic! Whenever Madhavi and Venu saw the large amount of disposable tableware and non-biodegradable waste thrown on the street and eventually becoming food for the cows, it broke his heart, so they decided to create Vistaraku, a company that produces sustainable dishes with the leaves of the palash tree.
But not only that, they decided that the women of the village of Thimmareddypalli in the district of Siddipet in Telangana would take care of the production. A true social and environmental development for the whole community.
For this couple, Vistaraku is the manifestation of their love for nature and their roots. The company was founded in 2019 and, although at first they started with only a local production, now they sell their products in the rest of the country, in Hong Kong and in the United States with the hope of being able to arrive soon in Europe as well.
In India, serving food on leafy plates is nothing new, on the contrary, it is an ancient tradition. Known by various names such as pattal, patravali, khali or vistaraku, these natural tableware is found in traditional meals, community celebrations, and even temples across the country use them in their ceremonies.
Unfortunately, with the passage of time, their use has been gradually replaced by plastic dishes that are harmful to the environment. Through their idea, Madhavi and Venu therefore want to revive the tradition of eating on the leaves.
To make their dishes they use palash leaves, a typical Telagana tree, which in addition to adding flavor to cooked foods, has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. They also partly use siali leaves, brought from the Odisha region, thus generating work for a group of women from a local tribal community.
“For years, the people of Telangana have served food on palash leaves as part of their tradition. It is an Ayurvedic tree, but many, including the ryots (local farmers), are unaware of its antibacterial qualities, ”says Venu.
Venu and Madhavi not only wanted this initiative to be respectful of the environment, but they were also eager and enthusiastic to hire local women who had completed school and who, despite wanting to work, could not find one. The company has therefore become a foothold to contribute to the development of the village.
“These girls, some of whom are in college, work here during their free time,” says Madhavi.
Madhavi, has a masters degree in pharmacy, is a yoga instructor and a kindergarten teacher. Venu is a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in the social field. This couple quit their jobs to create something bigger, something that turns leaves into emancipation for women while fighting in the fight against plastic.
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