Information Over A Cup Of Tea

A detailed study has been undertaken by Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN) to document and compile Antyodaya based best practices as propounded by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. This is an attempt to bring forth the efforts of all those who are working to uplift the last man in the society. This compilation was done in 2018-19. In this section of the website we are posting work and achievements of some unsung heroes, as documented by ISRN. – Editor

Here is the eleventh post of the documented best practices. This post is from Madhya Pradesh on the work of one Vinod Pandey and his team, who have developed this model of providing information to people assembled in the tea shop. Read the full story.... - Editor

In 2018 Vinod Pandey and his team launched the first Rozgar Dhaba in Shehore district of Madhya Pradesh. The concept was inspired by a large crowd he had seen gathered around Chai Point, a tea café at an international airport in India. The crowd and the Chai Point stall caught his eye as he stepped out of the airport, and it struck him that a tea stall would be great place to exchange useful information even in a rural area. And so Rozgar Dhaba, a not for profit social start-up, was registered as Development Innovation Foundation.

Each Rozgar Dhaba sells tea in a clean, comfortable setting, while acting as an information exchange centre about employment opportunities. Vinod Pandey believes that there are plenty of jobs to be in rural areas, such as in construction, painting, electrical work, plumbing, and masonry work it’s just that word needs to get around. And that role, Rozgar Dhaba can fill.

Vinod Pandey firmly believes if  people could earn a decent living in their own villages, the outflow of migration to the cities for work could be stemmed to a large extent, he feels. So, Rozgar Dhaba collects information about jobs from local vendors or employers and information from job seekers and displays the gathered information. It also provides local notices on people looking to sell/ buy agri-produce, equipment rentals, government programs and services, admissions etc. In short it’s the local go-to place for any information you need! And they provide this information via WhatsApp etc. as well.

As increasing numbers of people are drawn to the Dhaba, tea sales soar, the model’s sustainability increases. High revenue leads to other Rozgar Dhabas being set up in nearby blocks/villages, so they become sustainable on their own. Rozgar Dhabas have now come up in more than six locations, including Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh), and in Bihar and Pune. Vinod Pandey has also been following up on the impact of the Dhabas and has published a paper on the same. He notes: ‘Rozgar Dhaba has empowered community by building skills in various trades to help them build livelihood on their own. Now out of six Dhaba’s, one at Naulakha village (GodiyawasPanchayat, Ajmer) has now become the part of concerned Panchayat. Panchayat has officially approved and given space (a Panchayat School old non-operational building) for the Rozgar Dhaba Centre to operate and assist in the various activities of Panchayat, especially in terms of generating awareness on government schemes.’

The revenues from each Rozgar Dhaba are reinvested for out-of-school girls in the same village to enroll, continue and complete schooling through the ‘Girls2Schools’ project. Rozgar Dhaba aims to reach 10 million people in the next five years through 100 Rozgar Dhaba centers. Vinod Pandey would like to see more women coming to the Rozgar Dhaba, and is thinking along the lines of having women employees at the centre



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