All-women construction and maintenance crew will soon operate in the district under the Kudumbasree Mission.

Kudumbasree is planning to train 220 women in Ernakulam on a trial basis to undertake construction and maintenance work. They are to be sorted into 22-member teams capable of handling all kinds of construction and maintenance work. Each team will have project coordinators, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other workers. One of the teams will be a master trainers’ group to coach later teams.

Huge demand

“There is a huge demand for skilled hands in the construction industry. Women in the sector are now being paid very low wages. We will upgrade their skills and enable them to undertake all levels of construction,” said K.B. Valsala Kumari, executive director of Kudumbasree.

The project, still in its initial stages, will receive 85 per cent of funds for training from Hudco, as part of its corporate social responsibility. The rest of the bill will be footed by Kudumbasree. The mission aims to make the programme a self-sustaining venture.

‘Boon for women’

Ms. Kumari said the programme would be a boon for women living on their own who may hesitate to call male workers for repairs around the house. “They can just place a call at our call centre and two of our technicians will be sent the very next day. The service will be prompt and reasonably-priced,” she said.

Kudumbasree hopes to start the project within three months in Ernakulam district. The district was the first choice for the pilot project because of the booming construction industry here. The management-level staff will be trained for 45 days while others will have longer training.

With the training, Kudumbasree hopes to make a dent in the male-dominated sector. “If we are known for our promptness and integrity, then people will want to hire the service. We hope that the industry accepts the project,” said Ms. Kumari.

If the project finds success in Ernakulam, it will soon be taken to other cities and towns.

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