West Bengal: BCCI trains Kolkata’s street food vendors

KOLKATA: The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on Monday organized training workshops for street vendors, as part of a year-long CSR initiative. The project, “Apish Parar Khabar” or the Dalhousie Street food, is aimed at empowering Kolkata’s street vendors. It includes a street food festival due to be held on February 22. Among those who attended the inauguration was Pranav Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurants Association of Eastern India (HRAEI). “The idea is to introduce the concepts of sanitation, environment, food safety, health, hygiene, entrepreneurship and culinary skills to the street vendors,” said Singh. BCCI which dates back to 1833 is one of India’s oldest institutions of its kind and is umbilically attached to the city’s central business district where the street vendors are the prime source of food. The street food vendors have stands around BBD Bagh, traditionally referred to as Dalhousie Square or “Apish Para” in Bengali colloquial. It is at the Dalhousie Square that BCCI has stood for almost two centuries as the custodian of trade and commerce. The five training workshops starting Monday and targeting 80 to 100 vendors will be followed by the street food Festival on 22nd February 2020. There will be 40 stalls in the street food festival. BCCI also has plans to have a heritage walk of the “office para”, organize open air musical concerts, cookery shows by the vendors or their family members.

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