Parika women launch Mandalee line of products
Stabroek News
December 7, 2001

A group of women on Tuesday launched a new line of food products and other items under the registered trade name Mandalee, after acquiring several income generating skills through a self-development programme.

The items produced include pepper sauce, achar, ground massala, geera, preserves, spices and black pepper as well as children's clothing, knitted household decorations and decorative cushions and dolls.

Speaking with Stabroek News after the simple ceremony preceding the launch, a representative of the 25-member Parika Mahila Mandalee, which includes women from neighbouring districts, revealed that most of the women were victims of domestic violence. According to the representative, the project has created an outlet for the emotional and physical tensions in the home environment, while furnishing those involved with the knowledge required to ensure they can upkeep themselves.

The group is an affiliate of the Central Mahila Mandalee in Georgetown, which operates under the leadership of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS), and its work has been aided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Building Community and Capacity Project (BCCP). The New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) handled the quality assurance aspect.

Members convene at a scheduled time each day of the week at the Parika/Hydronie Mandir for sessions, and are afforded the convenience of a large gas stove, a king size freezer and several grinding mills among other things.

Prior to presenting a quantity of kitchen utensils to the body, Canadian High Commissioner Serge Marcoux, expressed his delight at the success of the venture. He remarked that part of the commission's mandate entailed assisting individuals and communities to foster their own development.

"The role of the woman in the home is changing at a global level, and in a world more technologically oriented, this is something we want to encourage in Guyana," Marcoux declared, noting that the group consisted solely of women.

"I am very happy that the project is being done by women. They are definitely contributing to building the home financially," Marcoux further stated.

Chairperson of the Central Mahila Mandalee, Dr Vindhya Persaud, told this newspaper that it was her wish that similar endeavours would be launched in other communities around the country, so that other women could benefit. She added that it was essential that more women seek to take advantage of the opportunity for personal progress.

Dr Gokool Budhoo, representative of the New GPC; Chandra Gajraj, general secretary of the GHDS and Edris George, representative of CIDA, also attended the ceremony.