As many as 66 candidates, comprising members from women self help groups and practising traditional Siddha vaidyars from across the district, received their course completion certificates at a function held here on Monday.
The candidates had completed a five-day training programme on making herbal medicinal products jointly organised by Chennai-based Central Palmgur and Palm Products Institute(under the aegis of Khadi Village Industries Commission, Union ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), NGO Ahimsa and the Tamil Nadu Parambarya Siddha Vaidya Mahasangam.
Dr Muthuswamy, lecturer attached to the CPPPI who distributed the certificates, pointed out that the institute offered training for rural artisans, traditional healers and members of SHGs on a regular basis with focus on generating sustainable employment opportunities.
The institute had identified around 20 products that could be produced and marketed at village level by utilising local resources. The institute would extend support in marketing the products, he said, adding that financial assistance through banks would also be arranged for the trained candidates under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) with subsidy components ranging from 25 to 35 percent of the total cost of the projects.
MD of Ahimsa R Kanagraj said that the demand for herbal products was on the rise as people were becoming health conscious. He pointed out that Ahimsa had networked farmers, youth and women entrepreneurs to cultivate herbs in the state. He urged the trained candidates to form groups for cultivating herbs in association with local farmers and produce herbal products.
Vaidyar Arjunan, state president of the mahasangam, said that course materials for the training were prepared by him. He noted that the training focused on the hands on preparation of herbal medicines for skin, digestion and diabetes. “We used to purchase medicines from outside, now we have learnt to prepare them,” noted Kuppusamy, a traditional vaidyar from Gudiyattam.