The Kudumbasree team from Angamaly has also been trained in recharging of wells
An enthusiastic team of around 100 women workers in Angamaly block panchayat is ready to meet the growing demand for coconut pluckers in Ernakulam and outside.
Farmers and the general public can utilise the services of the workforce that received training under the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana, which is being implemented in the State through the Kudumbasree Poverty Eradication Mission.
“They [women workers] are not only trained in coconut climbing but in recharging of wells too. Initially, 10 women in our block received training from the Kerala Institute of Local Administration at Thrissur. It later trained 90 women in coconut climbing and well-recharging,” said Angamaly block panchayat president P.T. Paul. The workers have already started climbing coconut trees in various households in the block panchayat as part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Mr. Paul said the workers were ready to train women members of families in the block panchayat.
“The training programme is not confined to coconut plucking and well-recharging alone. We have now formed another team of women workers who are ready to undertake a variety of jobs from ploughing to paddy harvesting. They are trained in doing mechanised farming,” he said.
Around 10 women have received training in tractor driving. They are also trained in digging pits for planting rubber. Besides, they are ready to take up growing nutmeg varieties and helping farmers with the protection of nutmegs and their post-harvest handling.
The services of the all-women workforce will be primarily available at various local bodies in Angamaly. But they are ready to take up assignments outside based on the nature of work and the salary fixed for each assignment.
Representatives of the Angamaly block panchayat hope the initiative will not only help empower women in the local body but also offer them jobs.
First published by The Hindu