Tiruchi district chosen as model for implementing NRLM

Manufacture of value-added products from jute is likely to be dovetailed into National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) implemented in Tamil Nadu through Mahalir Thittam programmes.

In Tiruchi district, manufacture of organic and eco-friendly products under NRLM was being carried out in select panchayats in Thottiyam, Thathaiyengarpet, Marungapuri and Mannachanallur blocks, R. Ganesan, Project Officer, Mahalir Thittam, said on Friday, after inaugurating a day-long awareness programme on jute diversified products at Jamal Mohamed College.

Jute Service Centre, Sri Jothi Kanniga Universal Service Trust, Coimbatore, and National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles, conducted the programme in coordination with the College’s Entrepreneurship Development Cell and Gender Club, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (Mahalir Thittam), District Industries Centre, and Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Tamil Nadu (WEAT). The objective of the programme was to educate participants on jute products and motivating them to manufacture.

Participants constituted members of women self-help groups, non-governmental organisations, craftswomen, weavers, artisans, entrepreneurs and government officials. Mr. Ganesan assured the support of Mahalir Thittam for conduct of training, production, marketing, and sourcing of raw materials.

Tiruchi district, he said, has been chosen as a model for implementing the NRLM. Manufacture of jute-based value-added products could be taken up under Unemployed Youth Employment Generation Programme, he suggested.

While about 40 lakh families in the country were dependent on jute products, value addition was made only to 15 to 20 per cent of the annual produce of 160 lakh tonnes, M. Ramaswamy, officer in-charge, Jute Service Centre, Coimbatore, said. Up to 30 interested beneficiaries will be chosen for basic training followed by two specialised trainings, after which buyer-seller meets will be organised for marketing support, he said.

College principal R. Khader Mohideen spoke of the importance of sensitising student community to the imperative need for using eco-friendly products in the context of global warming.

A.K. Khaja Nazeemudeen, college secretary and correspondent, said jute, owing to its weightlessness, was traditionally sought after material for packaging.

N. Manimekalai, professor, department of women’s studies, Bharathidasan University, said marketing base for jute products could be enlarged through increasing frequency of exhibitions by women self-help groups in colleges, and putting up of stalls at times of seminars and conferences.

Speakers explained how jute could be converted into garments, decorative items, table cloths, curtains, floor mats, handicrafts items, phone mats, wall decorative pieces and dolls. The products were in high demand. Jute was cost-effective and not easily burnable, participants were told.

Aspiring entrepreneurs among them were encouraged to approach Jute Service Centre along with SSI registration certificate. For details, contact T. Ayyappan (044-28224967/ 28224463), Market Promotion Officer, NJB, Chennai, or M. Ramasamy (0422- 2591530/ 9443743020), Chief Coordinator, Jute Service Centre, Coimbatore, or visit www.jute.com or www.indianjjute.blog spot.com.