Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
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Odia Model: How To Ferment Rice And A Million Dollars

Have you seen ‘Isaak Munda Eating’ on YouTube? The jobless Adivasi youth from Sambalpur who became a hit with his local cuisine videos now earns praise from the PM too.

Odia Model: How To Ferment Rice And A Million Dollars

When villagers of Babupali in Odisha’s Samabalpur district tuned in to PM Narendra Modi’s weekly Mann ki Baat on July 25, they were in for a pleasant surprise. They had never imagined one of their own would be lavished with praise by the prime minister. But then, Isaak Munda is no ­ordinary villa­ger—not since March 2020, when the daily wage labourer shot and posted a video of himself eating ‘pakhala’, the popular Odia dish of fermented watered rice, on YouTube. An Adivasi, Isaak had ­borrowed Rs 3,000 to buy a smartphone and hardly expected that his first video would get over 5 lakh views in next to no time—earning him Rs 37,000 when he was jobless due to the Covid pandemic. He has been something of a sensation since, ­making lakhs from his YouTube videos.

Isaak posts videos about local cuisine and traditional lifestyle on a regular basis on his YouTube channel—‘Isaak Munda Eating’. With 273 videos, the ­channel has 7.77 lakh subscribers now. “I am grateful to the prime minister for appre­ciating my work. The people of my village too are ­delighted,” Isaak says about his prime ministerial mention. Media persons, politicians and other important people, besides comm­oners, made a beeline for Babupali soon after the Mann ki Baat ­broadcast on Sunday. “Isaak has ­inspired all of us and ­become a symbol of the resolve of the youth to do ­something new,” gushed Union ­education and skill devel­opment ­minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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