Kaviyur, which won this year’s State award for the best grama panchayat, has mobilised women for the sustainable development of its rural tourism venture.

The panchayat deployed as many as 21 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) women workers for clearing the undergrowth on the river puramboke. It took 36 days’ hard work to clear the undergrowth, preparing the ground for the execution of the tourism venture, T.K. Sajeev, panchayat president, said. With the undergrowth gone, the river bank sported a new look.

The panchayat was also exploring the possibility of posting the MGNREGS workers as watchers and for cleaning work as part of the venture, Mr. Sajeev said.

The MGNREGS had immense potential for mobilising the country’s human resource and channelising the same for the nation-building process, he said. If a small panchayat like Kaviyur could develop a rural tourism project such as Puzhayoram through effective utilisation of the MGNREGS workers, the nation would be able to work wonders with them, he said.

Kaviyur has also shown the way for women empowerment by launching the ‘She Auto’ scheme for the first time in the State. The panchayat has provided 12 autorickshaws to poor woman entrepreneurs as part of the programme, launched in March 2012.