INDIAN Women in Enterprise Inc., (I-WE), a nonprofit organization, launched "Sarap India: A taste of togetherness," a virtual food carnival to celebrate the friendship between India and the Philippines and usher in a year-long celebration between the two nations.

Supported by the Indian Embassy of Manila, Tourism Promotion Board of the Philippines and affiliate partners, including WomenBizPH, Workbank, In Touch Community Services and Philippines Center for Creative Imaging. Also joining hands were other Indian organizations in the Philippines, namely the Indian Cultural Association of the Philippines, Bharathi Manila, Indian Ladies Club, India Business Forum and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines.

I-WE's initiative, "Sarap India," will showcase Indian cuisine from the different regions of the country made with locally available produce. Through the four-day food carnival, Filipino families and foodies will have a chance to immerse themselves further in Indian culture and get a taste of Indian delicacies.

"The contribution of women entrepreneurs is going to be critical as we build a forward-looking and dynamic relationship with the Philippines, especially in terms of our business and commercial links...And organizations [such as] I-WE, which combine the efficiency of organizations and economy of working together, have an important role to play in the future," Ambassador Shambhu S. Kumaran said.

"Food is the perfect gateway to culture. It offers the first glimpse of the traditions and ceremonies, symbolized by special food preparations, and introduces the everyday favorite home dishes across diverse cultures. Promoting Indian culinary arts to Filipinos, 'Sarap India' will provide a platform for local Indian food businesses to showcase and promote [its] delicious offerings and at the same time, foster cultural awareness of Indian cuisine and celebrate the long-standing friendship between India and the Philippines," said 'Sarap India' and I-WE Chairman Beena Advani.

I-WE has partnered with different vendors for "Sarap India," offering promos, discounts and exciting prizes during the online food carnival. Lalamove is the logistics partner, supporting the food deliveries.

"Organizing the online food carnival, with the pandemic restrictions in place, was an invigorating challenge for the I-WE team and even more so, because many of the vendors were first-time entrepreneurs with limited digital capabilities. Some of our vendor-partners needed technical and patient support from I-WE to take pictures of their cuisine and even create a logo for their home-based business. This is what made 'Sarap India' a truly I-WE experience because it fosters not only enterprise growth, but also professional development of the entrepreneurs," said Smita Cherian, managing trustee and project head of "Sarap India."

Visit the "Sarap India" website on https://www.facebook.com/groups/sarapindia.