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‘Ama Gaon Dhinkisala’ - Reviving a Lost Knowledge

One of the most incredible aspects of our human stories is

‘Agriculture’. 10000 years back when the world climate became

warmer, parts of our planet turned into an oasis filled with wild

plants, some of which were edible. Agriculture was introduced

as a new way of life that not only settled our ancestors from

wandering place to place but also spurt a series of creativities.

Odisha, an eastern coastal state of India witnessed this

transformation 4000 years ago. From then on the farming of

wild and domestic varieties of rice has become an essential

part of Odia culture and heritage.

Researches argue that the region of Koraput Plateau was one

of the areas for the origin of rice. Even today hundreds of

varieties of indigenous rice are cultivated and harvested in the

mountains of the Eastern Ghats. For removing the husks, a

traditional pounding or grinding device made out of wood called

‘Dhinki’ is used. It is believed that Dhinki originated in the

mountains was brought to the coastal area, where it survived

until recently. However, with the introduction of rice mills, the

practice of pounding in a traditional Dhinki lost its importance.

Eventually, the rural folk forgot the knowledge.


















Today we are used to polished rice as it looks attractive and is easier to cook. But at the same time, the polished rice lacks nutritional value when compared with the rice processed in a traditional ‘Dhinki’. Regular consumption of polished rice has also adverse health effects. There is now a realization about the revival of the old practice of ‘Dhinki’ and getting back to our roots.



Indian Institute of Education & Care (IIEC), a 25 year old organization of excellence in collaboration with ‘Indian Association of Nebraska’ and ‘The Odia Society of the Americas’ has initiated a unique initiative called ‘Ama Gaon Dhinkisala’ at village Bhairapur in Balipatna Block on the outskirt of Bhubaneswar City. The endeavour not only aims to bring back the traditional practice but also empower local women. This initiative is a part of the project, i.e, ‘Strengthening Rural Communities for Sustainable Livelihoods’ funded by the Odia enthusiasts and donors from USA.   

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