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Breezy business for palmyra fans

M. Balaganessin
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Villagers around Pudukottai make and sell the product

comes in handy: A trader selling palmyra fans at Tirugokarnam in Pudukottai. Photo: R.M.Rajarathinam.
comes in handy: A trader selling palmyra fans at Tirugokarnam in Pudukottai. Photo: R.M.Rajarathinam.

Come summer, several rural families are busy in making the palmyra fans – to cater to the growing demand for the product. Being a cottage industry, all the family members, including women are involved in making the fans.

Hard work

They toil hard, working for about 10 hours a day to produce about 350 fans.

They ensure that the weight of the fan is minimum, as the customers have to use it non-stop for quite some time. “Extra weight means more physical stress for the hands,” observes R. Nagarajan (40) of Peraiyur village who has been in the trade for the two decades.

While he takes up the harder part of cutting the branches and shaping them, women are entrusted with the responsibility of tying the Palmyra knots all around.

Each fan is sold for Rs.5 with a special offer of one free fan for every four. He said that many villagers in and around Pudukottai are not just producers but also distributors of the end-product. “Being a low-priced commodity, it will be difficult to avail the services of a vendor or hawker to market the fans,” he says, explaining the marginal profit he earns.

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