Date: Saturday 13th October,2018
The Yusuf Meherally Center was a beautiful place at post Tara, Taluka Panvel, next to Karnala Fort, District Raigad. Away from the hustle bustle and pollution of the city, the country side was pure. Felt pure.
The Yusuf Meherally is a voluntary organization, which is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950. The Centre was started in 1961 in memory of Yusuf Meherally.
These nice cottages were for the visitors. We were treated with the delicious breakfast of Pohe, Misal-Pav and Upma with the least oil used. Those were yum.
This centre engaged the village tribal population in various small scale units of preparing edible oil, pottery, non-edible oil, soap, Bakery unit, compost etc. It also has a school where 400 tribal children learn for free and a hostel where 100 girls stay – funded by the donation the organization receives. It also has a medical centre of its own. The replica of ‘Bapu kuti’ in Sewagram where Gandhiji stayed was most attractive. It is an inch-by-inch replica to promote eco-friendly living. It is made of mud-bricks and floored with a layer of cow-dung.
Then I started the tour of the centre where I saw small units of pottery, oil, soap etc. I started with the cold press unit of Edible oil which produced around 4 tons of oil in a year – single filter process. Right from cleaning the oil to filing and packaging, everything was manual. 100% organic oil which was sold in a few outlets in the city.
Only 6 machines and 1 filter which had 16 filter cloths. Labeling also was done manually.They explained to us the method of oil making. I tried doing it. The process of filling, labeling was entirely manual. Later on we visited the various units of soap-making, pottery and understood their business problems by grilling them.