State Bank of India has provided loans to them for making cups
Thanjavur: Thonnai, a cup made from dry banana leaves and fibres, is most sought after in temples for conducting certain rituals. Members of women self-help groups in Thiruvidaimaruthur taluk in the district are engaged in preparing thonnai.
The State Bank of India, Thiruvidaimaruthur branch, has provided loans to these groups for taking up the business. Making of thonnai has become like a cottage industry in Kanjanur area.
"It is not an easy task to prepare thonnai. We have to peal dried banana leaves and fibres from groves taken on lease by us. We start at 6 a.m. and complete the pealing by 9 a.m. before it became hot. Later, we segregate dry leaves that can be used for serving tiffin and take only the thick ones for preparing thonnai. Then we cut them and stitch them into thonnai," say members of Roja and Mullai Women Self Help Groups in Kanjanur.
"Hundred thonnais are bundled and sold for Rs.10. For wholesale, they are made into bundles of 5,000 and sold. We send thonnais to various parts of Tamil Nadu," say the members.
"We borrowed Rs.1.5 lakh from the SBI and repaid it promptly. Now, we have asked for Rs.3 lakh. The bank has agreed to sanction it."
N. Srinivasan, Branch Manager, SBI, Thiruvidaimaruthur, said that repayment from the groups was prompt.