'D JONAKs': The Essence of Happiness: An initiative to turn disaster into opportunity

Till the imposition of the countrywide lockdown following the outbreak of the ‘Covid-19’ which took a turn as the pandemic
'D JONAKs': The Essence of Happiness: An initiative to turn disaster into opportunity

Hitesh Hazarika

(The writer may be contacted at hiteshhazarika67@ gmail.com)

Till the imposition of the countrywide lockdown following the outbreak of the 'Covid-19' which took a turn as the pandemic, very few people could realize the meaning, significance and importance of "Aapda ko avsar mein badal dalon" (turn the disaster into opportunity) – the clarion call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The unprecedented lockdown which never was experienced earlier by the countrymen has brought a total change even in every sphere of life. No shops, no markets, no office, no schools, no normal life! All were compelled to spend their days in home confinement. During this unprecedented hour of crisis during the lockdown period which posed a threat to the human civilization, a homemaker was highly impressed with the clarion call "Aapda ko avsar mein badal dalon" made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And this homemaker finally got the answer to the famous quote "If not now, when? If not us, who? If not here, where?"

Actually, since the day of the imposition of the countrywide lockdown, she received several telephonic requests from her friends and well-wishers asking for pastries, cakes to celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries. And with her previous non-formal experiences, she started preparing cakes, pastries taking ideas from the 'youtube' channel. A special course on cakes and pastries she attended just before the lockdown also helped her a lot. As all the shutters of the bakeries in Guwahati City were down, she gained popularity on her cakes and pastries through social media and became a very popular name in her field. Her products were also highly appreciated by a section of senior officials in the state Secretariat.

This 'Home Maker' turned 'Home Baker' is none other than Subhalakhsmi Kataki-a daughter of Mangaldai in Darrang district, daughter-in-law of eminent Freedom Fighter late Pani Ram Das of Kalaigaon in Udalguri district who of late has settled in Ambikagiri Nagar in Guwahati City. Subhalakhsmi Kataki, in her college days, was awarded the 'Best Singer' award in 1998. But now she is concentrating on the preparation of delicious and hygienic cakes, pastries and traditional Assamese delicacies. She has already started her start-up 'D JONAKs'- 'the essence of happiness' and within a very short period she has been able to earn a high reputation for the quality and hygienic products comparatively at a very convenient price. A few months back in January of 2021, she completed a training camp-cum-workshop on bakery and pastries organized by the Horticulture Department, Government of Assam, and with this camp, she acquired the way of perfection in making her cakes and pastries. In her venture to the 'Home Bakery' retired Additional Director of Industries and Commerce department, Prafulla Saikia who is a mentor to the entrepreneurs in Assam has offered her advice and encouragement to take the proper way.

During this lockdown period, her teenage daughter Pragya Jonak and son Hriday Jonak too accorded a helping hand in her initiative. To prepare the cakes from the black rice and brown rice and to make the traditional Assamese delicacies, she has also arranged a traditional but specially made moveable 'Dheki' made of wood from Rajgarh in Dibrugarh to prepare the 'pithaguri' in her apartment. She also prepares mouth-watering pickles and other recipes. She got her dream project 'D JONAKs' got registered under FSSAI.

Rotary Club, Dispur, in recognition of her achievement and appreciation of her initiative, to 'turn the disaster into opportunity, in a function at Parijat Academy, Pamohi in February, 20121 conferred felicitation to customer caring and friendly baker Subhalakhsmi Kataki of D'JONAKs for her excellent service.

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