Weird question about Lijjat Papadums

Okee Dokee, I’m prepping the papadums for tonight’s dinner (can’t have curry without papadums). Lately, I’ve been buying this brand (Lijjat) for various reasons.

The thing is that I have never figured out why they have a rabbit on the package other than its their brand mascot. But, why a rabbit? It’s not really what I think in regard to the Sub-Continent: Especially the plush toy one Lijjat uses. Actually, the Lijjat Papadum mascot is a ventriloquist’s (Ramdas Padhye) dummy, not a plush toy.

Can anyone solve this mystery surrounding the Lijjat Papadum packaging? What is going on here? I mentioned that cultures with low literacy use pictures of the product, but this makes no sense in relation to that concept.

There is somewhat of an answer here.

Lijjat was the brain child of seven semi-literate Gujarati housewives from Mumbai who wanted to start a venture to create a sustainable livelihood using the only skill they had i.e. cooking. Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, popularly known as Lijjat, is an Indian women’s organization involved in manufacturing of various consumer goods (primarily food). The organization’s main objective is empowerment of women by providing them employment opportunities. Started in 1959 with a seed capital of Rs. 80, Lijjat today has an annual turnover of around Rs. 500 (Rs. 5 billion), with Rs. 250 in exports and provides employment to around 42,000 employees. Lijjat is head quartered in Mumbai and has 67 branches and 35 divisions all over India.

BTW, the easiest way to cook papadums is to brush them with vegatable oil, let them sit for at least 30 minutes, then pop them into the microwave. Mine takes 40 seconds to cook them, but cooking times may vary. It’s a whole lot easier than frying the things.

Note: This is Ramdas Padhye’s response to my letter:

Sorry for the delay in reply. I started performing my shows on T.V. in 1972 when television started in Mumbai. My character “Bunny” the rabbit was popular as I use to perform it on T.V. as well as in many stage shows. Hence the Lijjat Papad guys wanted to use it. The advertisement is shot in 1980’s, but is still running on many T.V. channels in India.

Ramdas Padhye

So, that’s the explanation.

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