After successful forays into building construction work, Kudumbashree woman self-helf groups (SHG) are making a mark by taking up painting works. Women from the recently formed SHG called Nirakkoottu have been garnering a lot of attention for their excellence in painting . The unit, which set up shop two years ago, has by now worked on 25 apartments with the members collecting a cool Rs 25 lakh as remuneration.
The success achieved by Kudumbashree women in building construction and hollow bricks manufacturing inspired the formation of a painting unit. Search is on now in all districts to induct more women into the scheme from the neighbourhood groupings, called Ayalkoottams. In Kottayam district, shortlisted women have been trained in painting and new units are likely to open soon.
The painting units, which work under the Kudumbashree project of the Poverty Eradication Mission of Kerala Government, will undertake work of private parties and institutions as well as projects for government and affiliated institutions. A large number of painting jobs are likely to be created as about 2.5 lakh houses will come up in all districts under the mass housing scheme for all the landless and homeless in Kerala. The Kudumbashree department is also chalking out plans to coordinate with different departments so as to leverage the job and income opportunities for the painting units. Along with the required loans and subsidies for the scheme, Kudumbashree will also finance novel projects and executable ideas from its innovation fund.
Plans are being drawn up to execute the painting project to all districts in a big way. Currently, the Kudumbashree Mission in Ernakulam district is overseeing its execution. In the district, where the Nirakkoottu project was launched, the women painting workers were inducted from Ayalkkoottams after direct interviews to ascertain their natural talent and willingness for undertaking painstaking work. After selection, a group of 10 women from the villages of Vengola and Vazhakulam were given intensive training in painting and allied works.
Nirakkoottu was formed after careful scrutiny when five women expressed their willingness to take up a painting micro-project. These women can now paint as neatly as the menfolk, by holding on to scaffoldings and working on high-rises. Each member gets close to Rs 1,000 a day. It’s the women themselves who scout around for work, inspect the sites, measure up the area and submit the quotations. It’s only when it comes to multi-rises that they seek help from sources outside.