Brand of pickles produced by sisters-in-law has become the pride of Mithila

Staying true to the spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and women empowerment, two women from Bihar’s Darbhanga district have started an online home-made pickle-making service which has fast gained the attention of people all over the country in a sport span of time.

The identity of Maithili-speaking people in Bihar is well-known for three things — ‘Pokhar’ (ponds), fish and ‘Makhana’. But in recent times, people across the country are relishing the taste of home-made pickles of diverse flavours such as mango, lemon or red chillies being prepared in the Mithila region.

Sister-in-laws Kalpana, 52, and Uma Jha, 51, have started an online pickle delivery service titled ‘Jha Ji’.

This online pickle delivery service is finding more and more takers all over the country in recent times. Usually pickles are prepared in every household in the Mithila region during the mango season but Darbhanga’s sisters-in-law have made pickle-making a profitable business, which is being widely praised in every nook and corner of the country today.

‘Jha Ji’ pickle store has today become a household name synonymous with online delivery of pickles in the Mithila region.

Speaking to IANS, Kalpana says, “From the beginning, like every other woman, we used to prepare pickles at home. My husband worked as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. But after his retirement I thought of taking time out for myself at home… that’s when the idea of starting my own business came to my mind, and therefore I chose pickle-making business.”

She said that earlier she started this business after preparing 10 varieties of pickles, but today she makes 15 different types. This includes five types of pickles made of mango, garlic, green chili, cauliflower and tamarind chutney, etc.

Initially Kalpana faced many hardships, but later the pickle-making business went on smoothly. “My sister-in-law Uma Jha also supported me for setting up this online business. I applied for a license for running this business in October 2020, after which I completed several formalities following which the ‘Jha Ji’ store was started in June 2021. My son Mayank took over the work of online marketing of the pickles etc. The pickle-making business today is working really well. The number of online orders received are increasing in number with each passing day.”

Initially, pickles were supplied to people while packed in 250 kg jars but now they are being supplied in jars weighing 250 and 500 grams.

Kalpana said that the pickle prepared by her is cent per cent natural and contains no adulteration.

Uma says, “The speciality of ‘Jha Ji’ pickle store is that it is prepared traditionally and contains aroma of Mithila region. There is a growing demand for pickles prepared by us in the traditional Bihari style across the state today.”

She says that she immediately agreed when her sister-in-law Kalpana spoke about starting the pickle-making business.

Uma says that nearly 400 to 500 kg pickles are being prepared every day. She says that currently 10 women from our neighborhood are employed in this online service, including several youth as well.

Majority of people gave online orders for pickles from the ‘Jha Ji’ store post the Covid-19 pandemic. Today there are thousands of customers placing online orders from this store.

Kalpana told IANS that she receives maximum online orders for pickles from Delhi and its surrounding areas. “A lot of orders are being received from Mumbai, Bengaluru and West Bengal. People are placing online orders for hand-made pickles pickles prepared by our store.” She claimed that home-made spices have been used in preparing pickles which have their own delectable aroma and taste.

Kalpana said, “At present both (me and Uma) work from our home, but soon we are going to set up a new manufacturing unit.”

She said that the ‘Jha Ji’ store was started at a cost of Rs 6 lakh but today the monthly turnover of our store is nearly 10 to 12 lakh.

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