Irula tribals reached out with modern tools for livelihood improvement


In continuation of the interventions being carried out by the Institute ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding (SBI) under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), the Irula tribal familes in Coimbatore district were given farming implements and tailoring machines for women.

The project team had visited the hamlets Domaur and Sembukaraiin Periyanaickenpalayam block, few weeks back and held discussions with the men and women to study their problem needs.

Accessible only by a kutcha road, eight kilometres through forested terrain from Mankarai, Domaur and Sembukarai villages are nestled amidst pristine and idyllic surroundings.

The Irula tribal inhabitants make a living by subsistence level farming, livestock rearming using primitive tools.

According to Karamadai, the tribal head of Domanur, the main crops cultivated by them are small millets and vegetables. The villages are self sustainable with their cultivation in over 80 acres of land, provided they get good showers. Few families have dug borewells and they access water at 100-120 feet depth.

While men till the soil, women take care of the livestock and every family own herds of desi cattle and sheep.

On October 16,2020 the project team lead by Dr. T. Rajula Shanthy, Principal Scientist and Head, Extension, ICAR-SBI and Dr. C. Jayabose, Principal Scientist (Genetics), ICAR-SBI distributed the modern implements for livelihood development to the Irula triabls in the two remote hamelts.

“Looking into their plight and based on discussions with the tribal people, we gave them battery sprayer, bill hook, dehusker, crow bar, digging fork, emergency light, hand hoe, induction stove, irrigation hose, pick axe, plastic pan, shears, rain coat, rose can, sickle, spade, storage drum, 200 gsm tarpaulin sheets, tiffin carrier and torch lights.

In our next visit we will hand over improved seeds of the crops they cultivate and saplings of few fruit trees as per their demand,” said, the project team members.

Besides the above tools the team also gave sewing machines to 11 tribal women from Domanur and Sembukkarai, and six tribal women from nearby tribal villages like Ansoo, Pattisalai, Kaalaniputhur and Arakadavu who were certificate holders in tailoring.

It is hoped that the initiatives will unlock their traditional barriers to achieving better living standards and will also help the people gain access and participate in the development process, become integrated with the mainstream, said the team members.

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