Tribal women ensured better livelihood by marketing broomsticks

August 12, 2021 03:16 pm | Updated 03:16 pm IST - ERODE

Tribal women involved in making broomsticks at Ramaranai tribal settlement in Talavadi Hills in Erode district in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

Tribal women involved in making broomsticks at Ramaranai tribal settlement in Talavadi Hills in Erode district in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

A marketing initiative taken by the District Administration has paved way for the upliftment of tribal communities in the Ramaranai tribal settlement at Talamalai Panchayat in the Talavadi Hills. The tribal women here make broomsticks and have now started to earn Rs. 750 to Rs. 1,000 a day.

Until now, the women harvested broom grass from the forest area, dried it, and sold it through the Village Forest Committee (VFC) for Rs. 20 a kg, with which three broomsticks could be made. Intermediaries purchased from the VFC and sold it at Rs. 60 a kg in Sathyamangalam and Bhavanisagar areas, after which it is converted as a broomstick and sold for over Rs. 150 apiece.

The Ramaranai settlement — with 22 families comprising 67 members — belongs to the Sholaga community and depends on Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and farm produce from their smallholdings. The settlement is located one km away from Talamalai – Dhimbam forest road inside the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR).

Collector H. Krishnanunni visited the hamlet twice and discussed measures to improve their livelihood. He instructed officials of the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW) to conduct a study and take measures for their livelihood upliftment.

Later, Ramaranai Self Help Group for Women (SHG) was formed and training was provided to them on making broomsticks by TNCDW. A loan of Rs. 75,000 was provided to the SHG under the Community Investment Fund for purchasing twine, knife, and other raw materials.

The first batch of finished products was purchased by District Supply and Marketing Society (DSMS), a unit of TNCDW, last week for Rs. 22,530, and they were paid within two days. Officials said that a person can make a minimum of 15 to 20 broomsticks a day and can earn up to Rs. 1,000 in a day.

Mr. Krishnanunni told The Hindu that it is a unique project that will enhance their standard of living and also improve their economic growth. He said that four tribal settlements in Hasanur, one in Germalam, and three in Thingalur were identified for expanding the project.

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