Alappuzha, Feb 5: The coir sector workers narrated an array of problems, ranging from the absence of Coirfed godowns to stock their fibre to the paucity of work and slow distribution of defibring machines and electronic ratts, directly to Revenue and Coir Minister Shri Adoor Prakash.
And the minister was ready with immediate remedial measures.
During the session held at Coir Kerala 2016, Shri Prakash offered immediate corrective action in some instances, or asked coir project officers to make inquiries in some cases. “The Coir Kerala event, over the years, has been able to bring about positive changes in the sector,” said the Minister, who started the direct interaction session with coir workers four years back. “The need of the hour is to attract workers to the sector; mechanisation is the way forward.”
Technology seems to be slowly bringing about change. One society worker from Kayamkulam, which has over 100 societies, said there are instances of women coming to work with their daughters, who are doing their graduation and post-graduation courses. “A family of three can earn up to Rs 1,000 in a day,” he said.
The worker also spoke about Coirfed godowns being used for other purposes, making it difficult to find storage space for fibre from these societies, which produce about 2 lakh quintal fibre of the total 3.1 lakh quintal procured by the apex body for cooperatives.
Shri Prakash noted that project sanctions have been granted to 25 cooperative societies. To facilitate ease of working, he also instructed coir project officers to explain to coir works why project applications are being rejected.
The minister was also requested to look into providing health insurance, gratuity and working capital for various societies.
Also present at the function were Smt. Rani George, Coir Secretary; Shri K N Satheesh, Director of Coir Development; Shri D Sugathan, Chairman, Kerala State Coir Machine Manufacturing Company; Shri K R Anil, Director, National Coir Research and Management Institute; Shri A A Shukoor, Chairman, Coir Kerala 2016 Working Chairman; and Shri A K Rajan , former MLA and Chairman, Coir Workers Welfare Board.
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