Kozhikode

‘Sparsham’ project building in shambles

The dilapidated remains of the Sparsham project building at Marad in Kozhikode.

The dilapidated remains of the Sparsham project building at Marad in Kozhikode. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The word 'Sparsham' is now only a distant echo at Marad, where it had been a symbol of hope at one point. All the manufacturing units that were opened as part of the project in strife-hit Marad twelve years ago have shut down operations, and the project building lies abandoned.

Launched in 2010

It was in 2010 that Sparsham (Sustainable Poverty Alleviation and Reformation of the Sea-belt Area of Marad) was launched to generate employment opportunities for women in trouble-torn areas of the village in then Beypore grama panchayat, which is now part of the Kozhikode Corporation. The aim of the project was also to cement the bond between the communities.

The project was the brainchild of then District Collector P.B. Salim, and was implemented with the support of Kudumbashree Mission and Beypore grama panchayat.

The project was the brainchild of then District Collector P.B. Salim, and was implemented with the support of Kudumbashree Mission and Beypore grama panchayat. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

It was the brainchild of then District Collector P.B. Salim, and was implemented with the support of the Kudumbashree Mission and Beypore grama panchayat. Initially there were five units that employed 50 women each, supporting 250 families in four wards of the panchayat. There was a unit that manufactured parts of footwear, a book binding unit, a garment designing unit, a scrap and file board unit, and an ornamental fish breeding unit.

However, by 2016, all but one of the units shut down due to a financial crunch and the government's inability to support them any longer. Besides, the salty air accelerated the damage caused to the machines, which were made of iron.

Failed efforts

Some efforts were made in 2014 to rejuvenate the project by adding a few more units, but it failed. The book binding unit tried to stay afloat for a while by switching over to paper bag manufacturing, while the footwear unit shifted to another building in 2017. The rooms that housed the units remained closed for the later part of the decade.

The project building now resembles a ghost town with shrubbery all around, walls partially crumbled, and the roof non-existent in many parts. It is now a sorry sight with raw materials strewn on the floor, and the machinery rusted and wasted.  


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 9:29:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/sparsham-project-building-in-shambles/article65703572.ece