In an amazing initiative taken up by a group of techies from Kochi’s InfoPark, many mothers belonging to tribal hamlets will have a new lease of life.
Kerala and its monsoons have a story of their own. No one can escape the lashes from the perilous showers that wash away everything that comes along its way.
An umbrella is not just a commodity but rather an essential to keep handy during monsoons.
Progressive Techies, a group of IT employees working at InfoPark who have previously taken up various initiatives, will now be sporting umbrellas that are made by the tribal women of Attapadi., under the brand name Karthumbi.
In collaboration with a collective of about 30 women, the initiative was recently launched at the Kochi-based IT park; active social media campaigning has been in process to support the enterprise.
“Our plans is to create a space for the novel initiative. We are trying to get ourselves involved in supporting such an initiative so as to show our respect to their hard work,” an admin of Progressive Techies told TOI.
Costing about ₹350, one can purchase the three-fold umbrella using pre-sale coupons of ₹100, through which orders can be placed before May 20. The coupons can be bought through Progressive Techies. Buyers can pay the remaining cost of the umbrella on delivery, and can also specify the colour and design beforehand.
By the first week of June, the umbrellas will reach customers.
“An order can either be placed through the phone numbers placed on the Progressive Techies’ page or through a Google doc file link available on the page,” said one of the volunteers of the group.
Started with the support of ‘Thampu’, an organisation that strive to achieve educational rights of children in the tribal regions of Kerala, the name of the brand is actually the name of a recreational club at Attapadi for the children. “Naming the brand with that name had a sole reason to bring smiles to the face of the children here” Vishnu Prasad of Karthumbi umbrellas told TOI.
Vishnu mentions that the hamlets will receive the entire amount from the sales. “A tribal mother can earn up to ₹70 from an umbrella. Also, the marketing of the brand is done by those from Attapadi only and the entire earnings will go to the hamlets,” Vishnu added.
Many organisations have worked towards the betterment of neglected tribal communities for years. According to Rajendraprasad, the president of Thampu, the ultimate aim is to build self-esteem and confidence among the tribal mothers. “This is not just a job, but something above that. Adivasi mothers, who had visited markets as consumers earlier, now visit the same place with a product that they manufactured. It’s a boost to their morale,” he said.
The initiative by the InfoPark techies is a great example of collective effort that would help many lives have a sustainable and stable livelihood.