Of Gai, Ghee and Goraspak

Entrance of Goras Bhandar

Sevagram, Wardha: At the entrance of the Goras Bhandar, there is a board which states, “Yethe baal kamgaar kaam karit naahi” [There are no child laborers in this place].

Gosanwardhan Goras Bhandar was started in Wardha in 1939 by Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave. The main objective of this initiative was conservation of cows. The initiative included breeding of cows, providing a fair price of milk to farmers and the people and to work for the financial betterment of farmers. The organization aimed to provide high quality milk without the need for cold storage or pasteurization. It has employed 115 people.

In conversation with the President of Goras Bhandar Shri. Devaraoji .S. Kasatwar

Devaraoji .S. Kasatwar, the president of Goras Bhandar, Wardha, has been working in the organization for the past 36 years. Before joining Goras, he was a farmer. His father was also a part of Goras, serving as president for 15 years.

Devaraoji said Goras was started because they felt the quality of milk supplied to Wardha was very poor. Cows were not reared in those days as people preferred to rear buffaloes. Both Gandhi and Bhave believed that cow milk was nutritious for people and so they established this organization to propagate the consumption of cow milk. Goras does not use buffalo or goat’s milk.

Devaraoji said Goras was started because they felt the quality of milk supplied to Wardha was very poor. Cows were not reared in those days as people preferred to rear buffaloes. Both Gandhi and Bhave believed that cow milk was nutritious for people and so they established this organization to propagate the consumption of cow milk. Goras does not use buffalo or goat’s milk.

Fifteen societies supply milk to Goras. It does not supply its products outside Wardha, but many customers come from other places for milk products of Goras, especially the famous ‘Goraspak’. It is made by mixing wheat flour, maida, sugar and ghee. Instead of water, Ghee is used to mix the ingredients.

Goraspak

The people working in Goras Bhandar do not feel any need for marketing. Everything is via word of mouth. Goras has an annual turnover of Rs 20-22 crore. Goras ghee is sold for Rs 700 rupees a kg. Ghee an important ingredient in making Goraspak. Almost 70% of ghee produced is used up for making Goraspak.

Ghee stored in a container

Goras Bhandar used to provide 50% off on medical expenses to cattle owners, but stopped it after the incentive began to be misused. They provide 50% subsidy for vaccinating the cows and 20% subsidy for buying fodder

Goras Bhandar also buys milk from various Kathiawadi cattle herders around Wardha. The milk collected from various places is poured in a big container, which has three taps.

The big container where milk is stored

The milk is filled in the small containers, which are locked.

Milk container with lock

There is minimal usage of machines at Goras. The government has offered financial aid, but Goras refused it as they believe in self sustenance. Nothing is wasted in this unit. Even leftover bread is toasted and sold as toast.

A major part of Gorus’ business takes place at the “Dudh Vibhaag” (Milk Section) at the entrance

Entrance of Milk Section

This milk processing unit makes dairy products like curd, mava, shrikhand, gheebasundi and buttermilk.

Milk distribution is the primary business of Goras. The milk used in dairy products is the milk that remains after distribution.

Nirgur Khairkar, the manager of the milk section, has been working here for 16 years. He was made the manager two years back.

One twenty liters of milk were poured into three 40 liter cans and heated. Once heated, the milk was cooled by placing it inside a container that has ice and cold water. The cooled milk is then transferred into plastic drums in which they are curdled. These containers are then kept in cold conditions overnight to produce buttermilk.

Heating of Milk
Cooling of Milk

Milk is thickened in large kadhais to produce mawaor khoya which is used in making pedas

Man making Khoya (manually)

Goras also uses an electric khoya making machine to thicken the milk and get mawa.

Electric machine used to make Khoya

Eighty liters of milk give 14 kgs of mawa. Seven and a half kgs mawa and 3 kgs of sugar mixed with elaichi are heated to obtain the mixture that is used to make pedas.

Workers making Pedas

Twelve and a half kg of Basundi is made with 20 liters of milk and 2 and half kg sugar

Basundi in container

Shrikhand is made after curd is hung from a piece of cloth for 2-3 days. Colour is added to the mixture.

Ice is put into curd to cool it. This mixture is put into a taak machine which churns the curd. This is then drained into a big container. The top layer is the semi solid butter which is separated via sieves.

Semi solid butter

Hundred liters of curd yields 6-7 kgs of butter. Goras produces 1700 to 1800 kgs of butter every month. 1 kg butter then yields 700 gms of ghee. Even though the production of ghee is not profitable for Goras, ghee is produced as it is an essential ingredient in making the famous ‘Goraspak’.

The Bakery at Goras was opened in year 1954. Today, it produces bread, sweet buns and Goras’ trademark ‘Goraspak’. Workers manually knead the dough into shape.

kneading of the dough, done manually

The bakery produces 120 packets of bread daily. This, like all other Goras products, is sold only through the 12 Goras outlets. Goras still uses traditional mud ovens (bhatti) to maintain the special flavor.

Traditional mud oven (bhatti)

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