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As part of our training programme, we, SLI, periodically visited districts to study the impact of our programme and also understand the training requirement of the community from the particular district. On 4th Oct’17, a three member team comprise of Mr. Lakshminarayanan, Liaison Officer, SLI, Mr. Raja Ganesh, Programme Coordinator and Mr. Ramkumar, Logistics Support from SLI visited Coimbatore district and meet the district officials, cluster facilitators and community members. Further the team visited some of the community initiated Common Livelihood Group activities to identify the areas of training needs.
Coimbatore is one of the major industrialized districts of Tamilnadu and much closer to Kerala state. It is a hub for major textile and garment industries. Most of the population mainly depends on these factories for their livelihood. Agriculture is equally important since the climatic condition of this region is so feasible for crops and animal husbandry. Coconuts, Paddy, Cholam, Pulses are major agriculture products of this region. Minimum wage of the labour here range between Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 per day.
The team interacted with Assistant Project Officers and Cluster Facilitators of the district TNSRLM and assesses the impact of our programme at district level. For the past two years more than 30 participants attended various training at SLI and some of them initiated their enterprises activities based on the skills they acquired from the training. Cluster Facilitators informed that 2 of them started Herbal Beauty care units at their villages and 1 of the participants – Ms. Annapoorna –SS kulam- is doing Masala ball preparation for her personal needs and also provide it to neighborhoods. Community Facilitators and members requested to organize training at their Block or Panchayat level since Auroville is located far away from Coimbatore, most of the women group members find difficult to travel and stay out of home two to three days. It was suggested that to do some advanced session at Block level based on the requirement after completing basic / introduction session at SLI, Auroville.
The training requirement of the community are Vermi Compost, Mushroom production, Country Chicken, Millet based food processing, Herbal products. Marketing of their product is one of the major challenges of the community; hence their main request is to train them on Branding and Marketing related support. Asst Project Officers of the district suggested provide training on Dairy Products, Millet processing, Herbal food production and Marketing & Packaging.
The team visited Thamaraikulam and Aanamalai villages to meet Coir production CLG and Petal leaf growing CLG members respectively. The team interacted with the group members to understand the livelihood opportunities of their products and its main challenges to address in their future course of training.As a whole, this visit gave wonderful experience to the team to understand the ground realities of rural livelihood sector and also helped to identify new avenues of training to promote more income generation activities to the communities in livelihood front.