The Tamil Nadu Government is set to establish a total of 25 ‘Mahakavi Bharathiyar Livelihood Parks’ over three years that will serve as common infrastructure centres for self-help groups (SHGs) to pursue their activities collectively.
Each of the park, to be spread over 25,000 to 40,000 sqft, is aimed at providing better working ambience for rural artisans and producers of farm-based and value added products.
To be located on government lands in the vicinity of intersections of major roads or areas with high congregation of people on a daily basis, each will comprise of four to six production units for varied products. The parks will also have food courts, a children’s play area, open spaces, gazebos, a parking area, among others for the benefit of the artisans and visitors.
The funds required for the construction and basic infrastructure will be in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and other rural development schemes, relevant to the creation of infrastructure. The approximate cost is ₹1.25 crore.
According to a Government Order (G.O.), the funds required to meet recurring costs for the parks’ functioning will be met with the share amount collected from SHGs for availing the facilities.To meet the initial running cost during the incubation period, the funds of the District Supply and Marketing Society will be used.
The livelihood parks will act as both a point of collectivism for SHG-run enterprise for production process and a marketing area for buyers. The parks will ensure year-round availability of a particular product at a single point for the buyer, in addition to being a learning hub for visitors.
Occupants will pay the electricity charges based on their production unit’s consumption. The common consumption charges will be paid with the collected rent and entry fee collected from visitors. Sites are to be shortlisted for setting up these parks, which will include locations nearby places of religious significance, tourist spots, major roads and access points of districts.