The government-run stall will sell Neera, a drink extracted from the palm, which turns into toddy on fermentation.

Telangana Ministers KTR and Srinivas Goud with a few other leaders drinking Neera at the inaugural event of laying foundation Telangana's first NeeracafeTwitter/V Srinivas Goud
news Excise Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 16:54

Telangana is set to have its very first government-run ‘Neera Cafe’ soon, where customers will be able to enjoy Neera, a drink extracted from toddy palm, which turns into toddy on fermentation. The foundation for the state’s first government-owned Neera stall was laid on Thursday at Hyderabad’s Necklace Road.

While the authorities present said that the event was conducted at a smaller scale due to COVID-19, videos from the event showed a densely packed gathering, raising concerns over the safety of the leaders present.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Minister KT Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said the Neera Cafe set to come up in the central part of Hyderabad will be a symbol of identity assertion for members of the Goud community (toddy tapper community)

“The Neera stalls may cost Rs 4 or 5 crore, but they are a symbol of identity… I believe once people taste it and understand its health benefits, Neera will become a popular drink, and many stalls will come up in the state to benefit workers,” KTR said.

Earlier in October, the Telangana government had announced that it would soon open Neera stalls across the state, starting with Hyderabad. Food items are also likely to be sold at the stalls, and more such stalls are expected to come up along the Outer Ring Road.

The policy is intended towards providing a livelihood for members of toddy tapper communities. Licenses for production and sale of Neera will be given to members of the Goud community alone, as per Telangana’s excise policy.

Speaking at the event, Excise Minister Srinivas Goud said that the Neera Cafe will be a symbol of pride and self-esteem for the Goud or toddy tapping community.  “Earlier, many people from our community would not be able to show toddy shops as our occupation, as it was considered a cheap drink. Now, people will come in a Benz car to drink in this spectacular stall,” Srinivas Goud said. “People may wonder if this can help Gouds in becoming millionaires. But this is not about wealth, it is about self-esteem,” he added.

KTR also spoke about the TRS government’s focus on strengthening the expertise of people in their caste occupations. 

Several leaders from the Goud community were present at the event. 

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