Employment March 16, 2020
Sample these wholesome & delicious cookies baked by people with Down syndrome at Satya Bakery
A group of youngsters with Down syndrome at Satya Special School in Pondicherry recently started a venture callled Satya Bakery. They bake cookies and biscuits twice a week for students at the school. They plan to expand their venture eventually.
Delicious Ragi cookies, biscuits and gluten-free snacks – all of these made with love by a group of youngsters with Down syndrome at Pondicherry. Their venture Satya Bakery is being run inside the Satya Special School, an inclusive facility in Puducherry. Started a few months back, the bakery is getting a lot of attention.
Currently, the products are provided only to children in the school. Guests who have tried out the cookies come back again just to munch on them! The venture is run by a group of girls with Down syndrome, under the leadership of Manju, all of whom are passionate about cooking.
It all started when Chitra Shah, Founder, Satya Special School, was looking for a way to get snacks supplied at cheap rates for the nearly 1,000 children in the school.
We used to buy biscuits and cookies available in the market. But those were expensive and unhealthy. We were looking out for cheaper and healthier alternatives and that is how the idea of starting Satya Bakery came up. Youngsters with Down syndrome are usually passionate about cooking and we decided to work on that. The best part is that they enjoy the process and are proud of their venture. –Chitra Shah, Founder, Satya Special School.
Chitra is hopeful of selling these cookies on a larger scale. Currently the focus is on gluten-free products, much in demand for people with autism spectrum disorder. Focusing on vegan and sugar-free options is also something they have in mind.
French baker Saluva, who runs a bakery called Eat my Cake in Puducherry, has been training mothers from economically backward families to earn a livelihood. Now she is expanding it to youngsters with disabilities too.
Apart from baking, Satya Bakery staff take care to package their products with care. Each person is assigned a task and the profits are shared equally. In spite of repeated requests to sell them outside, Chitra and her team are reluctant. “There are many bakeries in Puducherry but we are not sure how to go about doing it. We are exploring the possibilities and requirements. We already have our hands full. But those who are interested can definitely contact us”, she says.
She is happy that the staff feels a sense of pride. “People with Down syndrome can do well in business. They excel in service, catering and hotel jobs. In fact, people fall for the way they smile innocently”.
Dr Amol Rambhau Dongre, Dean, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital in Puducherry is among their biggest fans. “I had the opportunity to taste wonderful Ragi biscuits made at Satya Bakery. The biscuits are not too sweet and the pride and confidence with which these adults run the unit is great. Right from measuring the ingredients to actual baking and packing, the group was completely involved. I placed my first order of thousand biscuits and will continue to do it in the future as well”, he says.
CONTACT Satya Bakery at +91 93454-54449.
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