Kerala

Perumkulam flaunts its agrarian heritage

Sora Varambu    | Photo Credit: Special arranagement

Perumkulam, the State’s first Pusthaka Gramam (village of books), is also a land of idyllic paddy fields and rural orchards. And today, the village in Kottarakara flaunts one more unique feature, a public open space that celebrates its agrarian heritage.

Sora Varambu, a miniature park established by the Kairali Kalasamskarika Samiti by the roadside, has been drawing a steady crowd of late. Though the space was opened in early 2020, a couple of months back the samiti started cultivating paddy on one side to convert it into a real ‘varambu'.

“Perumkulam is an agricultural village and it’s also an attempt to preserve that legacy. We have replaced tapioca with paddy after leasing the land on three sides. The members had raised around ₹3.5 lakh for the project and we will be harvesting the crop very soon,” says Perumkulam Rajeev, president of the samiti.

The collective is planning to expand paddy cultivation to more stretches of land so that Sora Varambu will be flanked by rolling greenery on both sides. Though the park was started as an initiative to curb waste dumping by the roadside, over time, it developed into a cultural space.

“At first our plan was to clear the area and set up a couple of benches. Later we added a desi tea stall made of bamboo and beautified the area around. When the Bapuji library installed a pusthaka koodu with dailies and books, a lot of residents started thronging the area. At present we also see a steady flow of visitors from other parts,” he says.

Vayal vanibham

Even before Sora Varambu, the samiti used to conduct week-long ‘vayal vanibham’ programmes to sell all sorts of agricultural produce.

“All agriculture-related products were part of our trade fairs. But we had to stop them due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mr. Rajeev.

Inspired by Sora Varambu, some other panchayats in Kollam and Pathanamthitta are currently planning to start similar initiatives. “We are happy that this concept showcasing a piece of Kerala countryside is spreading to more places,” he adds.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:03:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/perumkulam-flaunts-its-agrarian-heritage/article36237813.ece

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