Catering for All


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

India is now a member of the top five economies of the world. It is trying to double its efforts so that it can become part of the top three economies of the world.

For this to materialise, India must create facilities of different types. This includes, in the minds of fashionable people, sharing of various types of food items fashionably labelled as   Starters , Soups, Spring Rolls, Momos. and other popular names. These items are designed to attract the nouveau riche people to come out of their homes and dine and sup like the modern rich people do.

Some people argue that these types of food items help farmers and also restaurants that serve these and other similar types of eatables. They do help but on a very restricted scale . Why ?

Since pamphlets describing these items are served to relatively few people, this type of circulation is not very effective. Even if their circulation is increased it will have a very limited effect partly because ordinary people don’t feel comfortable in such circulation of pamphlets — they are more comfortable in word of mouth publicity. Also,  what is being publicised is largely alien to the large sections of ordinary people.

Does an ordinary person understand what is a  Springroll.  or  what is Spicy Veg Momo? Similarly,  Hong Special   is likely to cause confusion . The question we may ask is why have these fancy words that are unlikely to make sense to both the seller and consumer of these items.

Otherwise also, since every item is written in English language which is obscure to most people of limited means, the contents of the pamphlet remain obscure. Most people feel comfortable in  word of mouth manner   that  is more advantageous for information to ordinary people; this way people are better disposed to appreciate what is being talked about. There  is also a personal touch where people can talk informally about how they or their families  react to the information on a personal level.

I have seen some carriages such as   tongas (horse driven vehicles) from which information is being shared for ordinary people — men, women, even children. Sometimes, people share information by song and music. Thus, it is not just the contents of the information that is being circulated, but how it is being transmitted to ordinary people. The contents that are being shared should be familiar to large sections of people and they should be circulated in ways that ordinary people feel comfortable with and sound interesting.

There are of course agencies whose job is to circulate information of any type in an understandable and interesting manner. Indeed they do it after receiving some monetary inputs — not for free. This increases the cost of the entity that is being popularised. Thus we have various objects that are being shared and various charges that are levied to make them popular.

A person who lives in a village or a small town finds the entire aspect of money wise circulation strange if not altogether bizarre. But modern life is charming for popularising different objects — be they food items, soups, momos or Spring Rolls.

Let us appreciate the behind-the-scene activities that go with foods or beverages and make them more delicious. Let us thank the individuals or the management agencies who work hard to make these items tastier and yummier.

If you know of any agency that is doing the activity of making food items popular, please share this information with others.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Oct 2023.

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