Staff Reporter

Thanks to Mahalir Thittam for organising expo in Tiruchi

Tiruchi: The special ‘Navarathiri’ exhibition sponsored by the ‘Mahalir Thittam’ and currently on at the St. Joseph’s College grounds near the Chathiram Bus stand here, has provided adequate opportunity for women members of self-help groups to market their products.

A number of stalls have been put up by several women self-help groups located in different parts of the district.

One of the stalls set up by the parents of child labourers appeared to be more interesting. With a view to ensuring a sustained income to the families of former child labourers, vocational skill training was imparted to the mothers of former child labourers and these members floated self-help groups.

“They are now good at making low-cost ornamental and decorative products. Their children were formerly toiling hard to supplement their parental revenue. But, the special SHG concept floated by the Child Labour Effective Elimination and Rehabilitation Scheme (CHEERS) has helped them to earn a decent earning, thereby ensuring a sustained educational career for their wards, who were former child labourers,” says the Project Director, CHEERS, Manju. She said that the handicrafts made by the special SHGs were bound to attract visitors. One of the members representing Kamaraj Nagar Special CHEERS SHG, V. Shanthi explains that she applied the concept of utilising the low-cost materials into decorative domestic products. Woollen frock and dolls made of plaster of paris have also been on display.

Collector T. Soundiah, who presided over the inaugural of the exhibition, said that the exhibition, timed with the ‘Navarathiri’ festival, would help the SHGs market their products. It has been planned to sanction loans to the tune of Rs.60 crore during the current financial year to the self-help groups in the district. As part of this drive, each of the 1,500 SHGs in different parts of the district would get a financial assistance of Rs.50,000 including a revolving fund of Rs.10,000 shortly.

Transport Minister K. N. Nehru inaugurated the exhibition. He distributed certificates to women who had undergone training in nursing course.