KOCHI: ‘En Thav Heritage,’ an initiative by the Scheduled Tribes Development Department, aims to bring various development projects to Kuttambuzha panchayat in a phased manner. The pristine tribal village, which has been urging for basic amenities, is expecting a complete facelift within next few years.
“We are aiming to bring in numerous products made by tribal families into a commercially viable platform. It is being conceived as a self-generating model which helps the tribal families attain sufficiency using their skillset. As most of the tribal families are unaware of the potential of their indigenous products, a centralised marketing space will be helpful for them,” said Kanthi Vellakkayyan, president, Kuttampuzha panchayat.
The ‘En Thav Heritage’ project is being implemented with the support of Ernakulam district panchayat and forest and tourism departments in three phases. In the first phase, a food processing unit with modern facilities that can make value-added products using raw materials collected from the forest will be set up at Panthapra. A heritage village that promotes the lifestyle and tradition of tribal communities and an open-air stadium will come up in the second phase.
Tourist cottages and treehouses will be established with the active participation of the tourism department in the third phase. “We are planning to bring in members from tribal communities as tourist guides for the project. The entire initiative will be looked after by the community themselves,” said a Tourism department official.
A preliminary meeting of stakeholders from various departments was held. Along with district panchayat president Ullas Thomas, block panchayat president P M A Basheer, district panchayat vice president Shyni George and Kuttampuzha panchayat president Kanthi Vellakkayyan spoke at the event.