Tribal women from Bargur, Talavadi, Talamalai, Kathirimalai, Oosimalai and Kongadai in Erode district were trained in making smoulders from elephant excrement, as part of livelihood improvement programme.
A pilot project was jointly initiated by ICAR KVK MYRADA and PKR Arts College for Women in Gobichettipalayam to train the women.
N. Ezhili, Principal of the college, said that the excrement of elephants had many beneficial microbes. Tribal people and forest dwellers believed that placing legs in fresh elephant excrement would help relieve rheumatic, general body pain and pain in the legs. It was also used as mosquito repellent.
Burning of dried elephant excrement mixed with loban serves as air-purifier and room freshener, Ms. Ezhili said.
T. Ramya, project coordinator and assistant professor, said that the product was cost-effective, and innovative.
P. Alagesan, Senior Scientist and Head of ICAR KVK MYRADA that provides technical and financial support for this pilot initiative in association with NABARD, said machines would soon be provided to the community to start the enterprise in tribal villages.