By K.B. Ganapathy, Chairman, BVB Mysuru
Madikeri: In 2018 Kodagu was struck by a rain disaster never heard of or seen before causing landslides, devastating floods and destroying houses and properties of the people, specially in North Kodagu area of Madikeri and Somwarpet Taluks.
Thousands of people were homeless and had to take shelter in schools and public buildings turned into Gruel Centres (Ganji Kendras), where free food was provided. It was a heart-rending sight of hapless, suffering people.
The Government and many NGOs and social organisations rushed to help the victims of the disaster. Among them was also the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Madikeri Kendra. September 2018 was the month, BVB launched its Bhavan’s Project Coorg to contribute its mite to help the victims of the great natural disaster. This month BVB is completing four years of its service to a section of the victims which is being continued successfully even now and will continue.
For the Bhavan’s Project Coorg initiative, BVB chose one village known as Kalur village which was badly hit with landslides resulting in loss of houses and cultivated lands — coffee estates and paddy fields. It was the worst disaster in the history of Kodagu.
Naturally, several families were in deep shock and limbo as their source of livelihood was completely destroyed. The future looked bleak. How long could they continue in the rehabilitation (relief) camp?
At such a dismal situation, BVB extended its helping hand to the women of Kalur village by taking them under the protective wings of Bhavan’s Project Coorg. It was an initiative to provide both psychological and financial stability to them.
To begin with, BVB started skill development programmes by imparting training in food processing and tailoring to the agricultural women of Kalur village under a programme known as Yashasvi. BVB took 65 women of the village to train them in food processing and tailoring.
After training, they were provided work on a regular basis and they began to produce a line of packaged high quality masalas, apparently with a Coorg flavour, under the brand name, “Coorg Flavours.”
Simultaneously, Tailoring Unit was set up with sewing machines and required facilities, which now undertakes to produce school and NCC uniforms, uniforms required for Government Departments and private organisations. Every woman working here earns sufficient income because of BVB’s initiative.
Today, Food Processing Unit makes different products like home-made chocolates, masalas etc. BVB’s Project Coorg has two stores, which helps sustaining this project, at Madikeri, capital of Kodagu district. Thus BVB made self-reliance possible for hapless women.
Support from people is needed to make this initiative grow and sustain.
For more information, contact BVB Madikeri Hon. Secretary Balaji Kashyap on Mob: 98458-31683.