Finding feet in the wild
In order to secure the livelihoods of tribal communities, the River Research Centre (RRC), a grassroots NGO based in Thrissur, has decided to launch Adavi, an event that showcases indigenous products.
Published: 09th October 2018 08:49 AM | Last Updated: 09th October 2018 08:49 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: At a time when forests are increasingly under threat as a result of climate change and man-made calamities, communities depending on forests are forced to move to cities and take up menial jobs. Not only does this affect their symbiotic relationship with forests but it also robs them of their homes leaving their existing skills rusted.
In order to secure the livelihoods of tribal communities, the River Research Centre (RRC), a grassroots NGO based in Thrissur, has decided to launch Adavi, an event that showcases indigenous products. The RRC has been working with the local communities in the Chalakudy river basin. An outcome of almost two years of extensive research and pragmatic work, Adavi would exhibit a wide range of products made by tribal women using their traditional finesse along with recently acquired culinary and tailoring expertise.
“The aim of the larger project is to secure livelihoods of forest-dwelling communities without having to isolate them from their ancestral domain. So they don’t have to migrate to suburbs and cities for menial jobs,” said an organiser of Adavi. “RCC hopes that genuine, unadulterated chemical-free options for homes are made available to more people,” she said.
Modelled on events like the Kanum Fest and Narundendi and raw mango fest at Vazhachal, such expos were conceived as presenting fresh harvests from the forest to the tourist crowd thereby instilling confidence within tribal women. When questioned about the whereabouts of the acquisition of skills, the organiser said, “Bamboo craft skills are inherent. The tribal people received beeswax and food production training received from Aadhimalai, a well-established producer company in the Nilgiris. Their mandate is to involve indigenous people in enterprise building, which is extremely crucial.”
The product range that includes bamboo craft from Muthuvar women in Edamalayar Forest Division, wild food-based products and beeswax cosmetics from a Malayar group in the lower catchment of Chalakudy river called the Karikkadav Collective, is hosted by the Malhar, a young restaurant in Chalakudy that has dedicated a space exclusively for lesser-known artists, musicians and poets. The event will be held from October 12 to 14.