With Diwali just around the corner, Poona Merchants Chamber, a city-based traders' association, has prepared around 2.5 lakh kg of laddu and chivda to be sold on a no-profit, no-loss basis to people on the festive occasion.
The Poona Merchants Chamber has slashed the price of laddus and chivda by over 50%. A member of the association, Pravin Manikchand Chorbole, said that the prices of both laddus and chivda have been fixed at ₹160 per kg against ₹350 per kg in the market. "Pune Merchant Chamber has been running this programme, titled 'Ladu Chivda Upkram,' for the last 35 years. This programme should reach every household so that people can celebrate Diwali with joy," he said.
"We buy goods directly from the company. And we start preparations two months in advance. This time, 2.5 lakh kg of laddus and chivda are being made. We have been listed in the Limca Book of Records, and the Guinness Book of Records. But this time we are not aiming for any record. We just want our laddu and chivda to reach the maximum number of households," he added.
Chorbole said that the city traders run this programme, keeping the businesses aside. "Everyone thinks that a businessman just makes money. But keeping our business aside for 10 days, we are providing laddu-chivda to all the common people," he said.
"Not only this, our packets go abroad, and BSF jawans standing tall at the border also await the laddu and chivda of Pune Merchants Chamber every year," the member said, adding that around 2000 kg of laddu and chivda will also be given to NGOs working for the welfare of the poor, for free.
When asked about other benefits of the programme, Chorbole said that through the initiative employment is created for the poor. "Around 150 workers from Rajasthan and nearly 750 women work in day and night shifts for preparing laddu and chivda, he added.