Reach new ‘heights’ here

By Express News Service :

24th August 2009 12:18 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the State Government has announced a big reward for those who invent a coconut-plucking machine, an NGO is taking the initiative for an immediate solution.  Santhigram, based at Vizhinjam, is all set to provide training in coconut climbing following the dearth of people to pluck coconuts.

 The training is as part of the ‘science and society project’, funded by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

The shortage of coconut climbers in the State is so acute that it had even forced Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem to convene a news conference the other day to announce a prize of Rs 10 lakh for enterprising inventors who develop a suitable equipment for plucking coconuts.

 As per the project of the Santhigram, training will be given in climbing coconut trees using two machines, one developed by an individual from Chemberi in Kannur, and another developed by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Santhigram director L. Pankajakshan told ‘Expresso’. The machine developed in Chemberi is one that can be operated in a standing position. The machine developed by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University has to be operated in a sitting position, he said.

 The operation of the machine is so simple that even women and children can operate it. Moreover, the machine costs only Rs 1,450, he said. The project was intended to provide training for those belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families free-of-cost. So far, around 30 candidates have registered for the course. However, Pankajakshan said that they are willing to provide training for others also for a nominal fee.

 Ranjith Azhakulam, the trainer, said that the idea to give training was following an acute shortage of trained personnel who could use the machine. Around four years ago, he had given training to several persons at a similar session organised in association with the Kudumbasree, he said.

 Ranjith said that he had had his training in Chemberi under Appachan, son of Christudas, who had developed the machine. With the death of both Christudas and Appachan, the training at Chemberi had ceased.

 Besides training, Santhigram will also provide the machines for 30 Scheduled Caste families free-of-cost. The training programme will begin on August 26 and conclude on August 30. The application forms can be had from the Santhigram office at Chappath, near Vizhinjam. For more details, call 0471-2269780 or 6452511.

biogas plant opening today

By Express News Service :

27th February 2010 06:59 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The inauguration of the biogas plant and rainwater reservoir built by Chapath Santhigram at Kottukal will be held on February 27.

 The biogas plant and reservoir were built as part of a programme by Santhigram in association with Science and Technology Department of the Government of India for the all-round development of people belonging to Scheduled Castes.

 Principal Scientific Officer of Science and Technology Department Shobhana Bhaskaran will inaugurate the biogas plant and Mithraniketan director K.Viswanathan will inaugurate the rainwater reservoir.


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