|Plate made in Om Creations Trust Mumbai|
Bread baked in Om Creations Trust Mumbai
I recently created the hashtag #PlatesOfFinelyChopped in a wry response to people on Instagram who often comment more on the plates I use than on the food on them.
Then I went to a shop where I came across a set of plates which I could definitely see making this hashtag proud!
I just loved the elegant designs of the plates and they were in blue which is my favourite colour for crockery.
|Future #PlatesOfFinelyChopped hopefully|
Om Creations Trust
For the love of bread
There was the beautiful smell of baking wafting across the shop too. I walked across and opened the door at the end of the room and came across cheerful bakers packing up some brilliant looking AND brilliant smelling breads.
These breads were were shaped like plats. They are called 'challah breads', a Jewish styled bread.
Om Creations Trust
I wanted to buy some bread to have for tea later at home but I could not as they were made to order and every loaf was accounted for. Nothing is wasted here I was told.
The challah breads were part of a regular weekly order which goes out from here every Thursday to a Jewish society in Mumbai.
Later in the afternoon I saw the same chefs make namkeens with millets and healthy grains. These healthy snacks made are sold in a shop in South Mumbai.
|Health snacks made in Om Creations Trust|
& some regular indulgent stuff too
Aladdin's cave of treasures
I couldn't buy the plates that I saw as they were part of a large corporate order of crockery made to order for the Indigo Deli chain of restaurants. I was told that I too could place an order based on the designs I liked and the size I wanted. I plan to go back and do that. The order would take 20 to 25 days to fulfil and the prices seemed at par with shops in the city.
Or I could buy the plates which were already on offer in the shop and there were some interesting designs there too.
There were some other interesting things to buy off the shelf at the shop. Quarter plates, more dinner plates, salad bowls, dip bowls, cups and mugs and little stands to keep teabags on.
|Chips and dip plate made at the Om Creations Trust|
And healthy snacks too
There were beautiful paintings displayed on the walls for sale and which would look lovely in one's dream house I am sure. Hand painted scarves which I would love to gift to folks. Clothes too with lovely prints and even Ganesha themed pen stands and other curios.
The shop was clearly a repository of great creativity and hard work.
|Hand painted scarves|
|Some of the paintings on sale|
Did you know about Mumbai's Om Creations Trust?
|The Om Creations Trust workshop|
Are you intrigued about where I was and what this shop was all about?
Well, I was at the Om Creations Trust work shop at Central Mumbai's Mahalaxmi area.
Om Creations was set up in 1996. The train and work with women from the age group of 22 onwards, who were born with the Down Syndrome. They are taught various skills based on their ability to learn. They are then offered employment outside of the trust or at the workshop which I described.
Here's a note from their corporate office on what Om Creations does:
Om Creations Trust, is a non-profit training project for holistic and educational rehabilitation of women who were born with the Down Syndrome. The organization helps explore their hidden creativity. Later, they integrate them into the mainstream by providing them with an employment. Thus the ultimate intend of the organization is to bring specially-abled women into the acceptance of the society.
Specially-abled women working in Om Creations Trust are trained in hospitality and catering. Here they are encouraged to various activities right from assembling the products to packaging it.
|The bakers of the challah bread at Om Creations Trust|
They are trained and helped by a staff led by a former
IHM Dadar graduate
As the earlier note said, ladies are trained in art and in cooking. They work here through the week and get a stipend at the end of the month. The sales proceeds from their work helps fund this activity.
The age group of people in the school range from 22 years to even folks in their 60s. They come from all strata or society with at last 40 per cent coming from underprivileged sections of the society.
|The challah breads are packed to order|
Some of the women travel to work everyday by themselves. Others are accompanied by friends and family. They observe regular work hours through the week. They bring their lunch from home and at lunch time folks sit and eat together like they would in an office canteen. They often pool in and have parties at work to celebrate birthdays and other happy occasions.
|Lunch time at Om Creations Trust|
I was told that the monthly stipend is given in the form of cheques rather than bank transfers as nothing beats the sense of achievement as having received the results of one's own labours in one hands.
If there is an establishment that celebrates the dignity of labour then Om Creations Trust has to be one for sure.
I have never seen such a happy work place myself before. I strongly feel that their spirit of pride and joy translated into the magnificence of the products on offer.
|Making the Ganesha themed pen stands|
For a corporate order
When I shared some of the pictures on social media, people responded wanting to know how to buy products from the Om Creations Trust.
So I did a Q&A with the folks running it and here are some answers. Please let me know if you have more questions:
All you wanted to know of buying products from the Om Creations Trust, Mumbai
1. How does one place an order at OM. By phone or email or both?
Yes ! you can Mail us or call us for the order
E mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
phone : 9892156020 (Archana)
2. Food: do they offer food on sale every day or only on . By when does offer have to be placed. Is there a menu? What is available. Minimum order size? Delivery possible? Name of shop where snacks are possible
As for Food order, you can place by mail on the above mail ID or call on the number given above or 9665167559 (Akshay).
The orders have to be placed two days prior to the day of requirement.
Deliveries are done but it is charged over and above the food billing.
Attached above is the menu. The menu is for reference, we produce items as per the clients budget and requirement.
3. Crockery: are the products ready to buy off the shelf or do orders have to be placed? What is the extent of customisation possible - size, design. What's the waiting period? Minimum order size? Delivery possible?
Yes ! the Crockery are ready , in case of customization it depends on the quantity of the order
Minimum Order – A set of 6
The waiting period for crockery will be approx 20 -25 days
Delivery possible ( You have to pay the delivery charges)
4. Are online orders possible. Do they have product catalogues?
You can mail us for orders at email@example.com
Product catalogues – attached below
5. For buying in store, what are timings and days open?
For buying at Om creations Trust, We are open all 5 weekdays from and from
Address: Om Creations Trust, Anand Niketan, King George V Memorial, Dr E Moses Road, Parel, Mumbai - 400012
Archana Mehta, Project Co-ordinator, Om Creations Trust
Akshay Puranik, Chief, Om Food, Om Creations Trust
|With Archana and Akshay and team Om Creations|
|After we took the properly posed picture this lady walked up to me|
and asked me to take a selfie & selfies are always more fun of course
Why you should drop in at the Om Creations Trust yourself?
Lot of folks asked me if delivery of their products is possible and you have the answers above. Yes, it is possible.
I would strongly recommend dropping into the Om Creations Trust premises if you can though.
It is located at the St George Hospital compound which is at the corner of the road which leads from Phoenix Mills in Mumbai's Lower Parel to the Mahalaxmi Station. You have to enter the compound and go in to a stretch where there are a number of associations have their offices. All working for the betterment of special groups.
This place is not far from Phoenix Mills where you might have gone to shop or from the Lower Parel office and restaurant complexes of Kamla and Raghuvanshi Mills. A hop skip and jump if you use the Sea Link from Bandra. Not too far from South Mumbai either.
|The entrance to the St George Hospital complex|
Once you walk in to the compound, there's a sense of serenity which is so calming and refreshing and unusually magical in the middle of manic Mumbai.
When you enter the Om Creations Trust office, you are welcomed by happy faces of those inside. You are greeted with warm welcomes which come with no fine prints or no expectations.
When you leave, you are bid farewell with inspiring stories of hope to take back with you till you come back again.
There is nothing wrong with getting your products delivered of course but make the effort to go there.
You owe it to yourself.
|You are guaranteed to come out with a big smile along with|
some great shopping when you go to the Om creations Trust
I would like to to thank Ms Archana Mehta of the Om Creations Trust (in the blue top above) for welcoming me and showing me around and to IHM Dadar alumni chef Akshay Puranik for his time and perspective too. He heads the food department. Special thanks to Priyanka Suryawanshi and AdFactors PR for connecting me with this wonderful organisation and for enabling the visit.
Please do check out:
1. A Facebook live video that I did while at the Om Creations Trust which will give you an idea of what I was talking of
2. In case you want to know more about Down Syndrome then here's what Wikipedia says on it
3. What struck me about the Om Creations experience was the way each person who was there was cherished by those who run the trust. Do check out this video which a friend from the UK shared and which helps one understand what Down Syndrome is better and sensitises us on how to relate to those who have it