Funds sought to provide training to tribal people in furniture making

Since making furniture from Lantana camara, an invasive weed, provides livelihood to tribal people and also helps in afforestation, Tamil Nadu Tribal People Association has urged the Central and State governments to provide funds to train them at Bargur hills.

The weed occupies thousands of acres of forest land preventing regeneration of native species and paves the way for deforestation. Insufficient funds with the Forest Department to clear the weed resulted in it spreading in the hill areas. Recently, the association took up an initiative in training the tribal people in making chairs, tables, racks and other furniture out of the weed and market them.

V.P. Gunasekaran, State Committee Member of the association, said that in the absence of employment opportunities in hill areas, the people in Bargur hills migrated to other places in search of work while those who stayed engaged in farming activities. Harvested grains and millets helped fulfil their needs and there were no earnings for them. “Many generations have passed and there is no improvement in their standard of living,” he said and added that 13 persons, including seven women, were trained at its centre in Thamaraikarai.

The association has planned a month-long training programme for 20 tribal people after which it planned to market the products. Mr. Gunasekaran said stipend for trainees, fee for trainer who comes from Asoka Trust for Research into Ecology and the Environment from Male Mahadeshwara in Chamrajanagar, food expenses, purchase of cutter, hammer, knife, fuel cost, coir and other expenses came to over ₹ 5.32 lakh. Since the training would ensure regular income for the tribal people, the governments and the Forest Department should come forward and support, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:55:27 AM |

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