They leave no stone unturned

Chalking out a new course of life.

Chalking out a new course of life.  

IT IS not a big leap forward, but the beginning of a new lease of life. Those, who had been toiling as labourers for decades together, have come together to chart a new course. This is the success story of women quarry workers, who have formed Self-Help Groups in Perambalur district.

There are so many quarries at Therani, Padalur, Kalpadi, Koneripalayam, Perumalpalayam in this district. According to an official estimate, there are 83 small, medium and large-scale (in terms of activity and business) quarries. The managers used to employ women, since they turned up in good strength for less wages.

A majority of the units are located at Kalpadi, where there are 14 quarries. The district administration has formed special self-help groups for these women labourers.

A total of nine SHGs — Annai Theresa and Thulasi in Tharani village, Devi in Padalur, Sevvanthi and Vidivelli in Kalpadi, Surabhi I and Surabhi II in Koneripalayam and Perumalpalayam respectively, Vekkaliamman in Vellanur and Cauvery in Senkunam — were formed. "The women's experience in quarries came in handy and there was no need for any special training in the trade", the Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, M. Jinna Bai, said.

There was a good response from women quarry workers, when the DRDA mooted this idea for their economic uplift. The government quarries at Therani, Padalur, Kalpadi, Koneripalayam and Perumalpalayam were entrusted to these nine groups on lease as per the norms.

Each group has 18 to 20 members and three SHGs — Devi, Annai Theresa and Thulasi — have proved their mettle.

The State Bank of India and the Indian Overseas Bank have sanctioned credit facility to the tune of Rs. 6.45 lakhs to these three SHGs for purchase of machineries and equipment.

Each member has now started earning a monthly income of about Rs. 1,000.

Thus, these SHGs have started earning reasonable income.

From Balaganessin M in Tiruchi

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