R. Rajaram

The objective is to ensure regular income for them

“A similar project will be taken up at Mandapam camp near Rameswaram”

“Orders for stitching churidhars will be given to them soon”

TIRUCHI: Thanks to the joint initiative by the Department of Rehabilitation, Co-optex, and the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation, a charitable organisation, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on the Vazhavandankottai camp near here would soon be supplying readymade garments to the Co-optex.

The women refugees, organised into 11 self-help groups, have been provided with sewing machines and the raw material to begin their venture.

Raw material

The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society (Co-optex) will supply the raw material to the self- help groups who, in turn, would produce readymade garments, mostly night dresses for women, to start with.

The products would be marketed through Co-optex outlets under a buy-back arrangement. The objective is to ensure regular income for them.

The first-of-its-kind venture in a refugee camp, R. Karpoora Sundarapandian, Special Commissioner and Commissioner for Rehabilitation, said a similar project would be taken up at the Mandapam camp near Rameswaram.

Each of the 11 SHGs would be given 100 metres of cloth to stitch 45 night dresses initially and would be paid Rs. 16 as stitching charge for a piece. Mr. Sundarapandian said orders for stitching ‘churidhars’ would be given to them soon.

Under the ‘Goat Bank Scheme,’ recently introduced by the State Government for the benefit of the refugees at Sankarankoil in Tirunelveli district and at Thayamangalam in Sivaganga district, two goats were given to self-help groups.

There were 463 SHGs comprising women refugee members across the State and 35 men groups, he said.