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, have been sporting umbrellas that are made by the tribal women of Attapadi, under the brand name Karthumbi.
In collaboration with a collective of about 50 women, the initiative was launched last year 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 Progressive Techies. Buyers can pay the remaining cost of the umbrella on delivery, and can also specify the colour and design beforehand.
In last one year, Progressive Techies have managed to sell a whopping 6,000 umbrellas, including 2,000 in the four IT Parks across Kerala while raising over ₹2 lakh.
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.
“Since we did it purely as charity, the women engaged were able to make anywhere between ₹100 and ₹120 on a three-fold umbrella sold at ₹350,” said Mr. Panthalani to The Hindu.
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.
For this year, the pre-sale order has already been initiated through a Google form. One can place an order by paying an advance of ₹100, and pay the rest at the time of the delivery. Following last yea’s trend, an initial order for 750 umbrellas has already been placed by Friday.