By PARTHA Roy
THE Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry supported by Exide Industries has launched a unique initiative –Apish Parar Khabar”- to acquaint the people of Kolkata’s historic Dalhousie area and preserve its unique food street food culture. Dalhousie in Kolkata was always looked upon as the commercial area or Apish para. As the city grew and extended its city limits and with subsequent growth of IT much of it spread across to Salt Lake and Rajarhat areas. Yet Dalhousie continues to be still regarded as the principal commercial area. In an effort to preserve, promote and further develop this very historic and heritage area The Bengal Chamber and Exide Industries have put forth a novel initiative Apish Parar Khabar that kicked off on 27th January, 2020.On the occasion, The Chairman of the Media, Music and Films committee, Arindam Sil, stated, “Food is also synonymous with culture of a region and Dalhousie area has been not only associated with our heritage but a thriving food culture exists that has been a lifeline for many office goers and tourists too. So it was an initiative that we designed and conceptualized so that this beautiful tradition of blending heritage and food remain and we lend a helping hand to support our street vendors who have been keeping this place gastronomically alive. Workshops on sanitation, fire safety, environment, food safety, health, hygiene, culinary skills, branding, marketing skills, entrepreneurship and women empowerment would eventually help in preserving the city better.’ “We have extended a hand as part of the CSR initiative to this unique effort of the Bengal Chamber where four sensitization workshops with 150 vendors have been started. The final workshop was on 11th February where 10 stalls showcased creating essence of the Gala Street Food festival to be held on 22nd February, 2020 from Lyon’s range-the Stock Exchange road to The Bengal Chamber”, stated, Mr Jitendra Kumar of Exide, Chairman of CSR Committee, The Bengal Chamber.Subhodip Ghosh, Director General, The Bengal Chamber, stated,” The idea was to strengthen and encourage food tourism, cultural tourism and livelihood development for the overall welfare of the very strong force of street vendors who have been a great source of variety and flavours for all office goers in this busy stretch since decades. The effort is also to further the cause of a clean and green Kolkata and these workshops we have organised will help the street vendors greatly. “The CSR initiative is in association with Nothing Beyond Cinema, Sister Nivedita University, Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (HRAEI), National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) – Kolkata Chapter, Radio Mirchi, S&IB, 6 Ballygunge Place and Second Innings Sports and Entertainment.