Selected members were trained for a month to run them
The Kudumbasree CDS of the Kozhikode Corporation has a habit of opting for unique projects and succeeding.
After the success of the ‘dress bank,’ ‘drug bank,’ and Manassu, the counselling centre, the latest is ‘e-shop,’ a modern version of the age-old bunks you find around street corners.
This metal structure that occupies just four sq ft space along the road is a high-tech one with automatic card entry, burglar alarm, and CCTV camera that watches every move of the customers. The product range also has changed to suit the era. In place of the usual tea-coffee-snack bars that sold an occasional ‘pan,’ here they have coffee from Café Coffee Day and other products from Asian Bakes, Gandhi Gram, Subhiksha, Lotte, Idea, ITC, Merriboy, M.N. Foods, and Ela Herbal Drinks, besides the Kudumbasree products, Kudumbasree project officer M.V. Ramsi Ismail said.
The first e-shop in the city will open near the beach on May 30 and then at 15 other locations, including Stadium Junction, Muthalakkulam, Head Post Office, Oyitty Road, Medical College, Beypore, Cheruvannur, and Karaparamba.
The aim of e-shops is the same as that of Kudumbasree — poverty alleviation and women empowerment. Each shop will be managed by a two-member team from BPL families. They will be provided a subsidy of Rs.50,000 and arrangements would be made for them to secure loans from nationalised banks. Selected members were trained for a month to handle the shops by running a demonstration on the old Corporation building premises, Mr. Ramsi Ismail said. The shops would work for twelve hours a day.
Meanwhile, there have been widespread complaints that many banks refuse to offer loans to Kudumbasree units, even with high payback rate in the sector. “Most of the banks here have huge deposits from Kudumbasree. Yet they refuse to offer loans to our members. What is their problem when an organisation such as Kudumbasree is offering surety?” Mr. Ramsi Ismail asked.