Sivu 33

Taina Snellman holds a a Tikau village meeting. around in the mosquito-infested dark to share the feast. But I sample a handful or two (no spoons or forks available) of vegetable stew, an appreciated gesture for Dalits whose higher caste neighbours often regard such dining company as beneath them. "The village was in very poor condition before," says life-long villager and weaver Karunakar. "The people here think Tikau has been helpful. They have brought us rice, polythene to protect our roofs during the monsoon rain, chickens, medicine and work." The Tikau team heads away from the village, our hungry driver dodging the cows and chickens, through the constant hooting traffic, the clouds of red dust, wafts of temple incense, pungent drains and roadside kitchen spices, back to the relative comfort of the town of Balasore. The project continues, and in March 2012 Snellman would return to the village with a Finnish doctor, holding a clinic for the villagers. "Tikau may be cool in Finland, but working here in Orissa is considered very unsexy in Delhi," says Snellman. "I think it makes my own life so much richer to see both sides of the coin." Tikau products can be purchased from the Finnair PlusShop: WWW.FINNAIRPLUSSHOP.COM

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