Pune: Soon, you can sink your teeth into apples from Doda, Kashmir. Sarhad Sanstha, an organisation, is directly sourcing the fruit from the orchards of growers and making it available to consumers in Pune. This initiative has received a tremendous response so far, with more than 20,000 kilos of apples already being sold.
In the next phase, because of the memorandum of understanding between the municipal corporations of Pune and Srinagar, a new fleet of trucks are expected to arrive in Pune with fresh shipment. This experiment will continue for the next 15 days.
As the project is a no-profit-no-loss business, it is the consumer who benefits and this is the reason for the positive response from the public. The direct sale will continue at Mahavir Jain College and the Sarhad Sanstha located in Katraj.
This is also an effort to help the Kashmiri students studying in Pune, who have been unable to communicate with their families since the Valley has been in a state of lockdown from August 5.
On this day, the Government of India had revoked the special status granted to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
The Sanstha coordinators said the orchard farmers are facing huge losses because of the tense situation in Kashmir and their stocks are rotting. The apples come from Shopian and Baramulla regions, the most troubled areas.
“To help farmers, we have started this experiment in Pune. We now plan to extend it to Nashik and Kolhapur by setting up new centres,” said the coordinator.
Sarhad is an NGO dedicated to the people of border regions, focusing on social, cultural and educational work.