Kudumbashree - Kerala’s flagship gender empowerment programme has got a royal fan - Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Britain’s Prince Charles.
Camilla fell in love with Kudumbashree while visiting the exhibition of products put up by them at the Aluva Palace guest house on Tuesday. “Kudumbashree activities are amazing. The model can be emulated by other countries also. The idea of Kudumbashree to empower society through women is brilliant. The products display the skills of the members,” she said.
Kudumbashree district coordinator Tany Thomas and assistant coordinator Cincymol Antony explained the details of the exhibition to her. Camilla appreciated the model of the Onam market, the market in Kerala villages during Onam.
“She watched the exhibition with passion and asked minute details about it. A terracotta chain, rings, a wooden model of an elephant and decorative candles were gifted to her. She was moved by their aesthetic and artistic qualities,” Tany said.
A nine-member team from Aluva Kudumbashree was selected to meet Camilla. “We started preparations for this memorable event several weeks ago. We discussed the details at our grassrooots committees. Many members were interested in meeting Camilla but it was not possible due to technical reasons. But we will go to our units where our friends are anxiously waiting and narrate the details of the day,” said Ranjini Venugopal, a member of the Kudumbashree.
“Camilla’s attitude was very positive. Down to earth, she took pains to understand the features of each product. She was particularly keen on knowing the manufacturing details. She expressed her special appreciation after understanding that our products were made from environment-friendly methods,” pointed out Beena and Lalitha, two volunteers of Kudumbashree.
Camilla’s convoy reached Aluva Palace by 12.05 pm. She was welcomed by K P Dhanapalan MP, Anwar Sadath MLA, Municipal chairman M T Jacob, vice-chairperson Lissy Abraham and councillor Jeby Mether. A ‘thiruvathira’ was performed by t Xavier’s College students.