TIRUNELVELI: Want to get a flavour of the lives of Kaani tribals? No, you don’t have to venture into the forest now, just go to AR Lane in the heart of the city.
A shop that sells the organic products of Myilar Kaani tribal farmers and handicrafts has been opened at the heart of the city, thanks to the efforts of Collector V Vishnu and Eco-Development Officer (EDO) Ganesan. That’s not all. The interior of the shop is painted with graffiti, depicting the lifestyle of the people belonging to the tribal community.
The interior design was conceived by Ananda Perumal, who runs Kavin Art Gallery in the district. “To know their lifestyle, we stayed with the members of the tribal community and later designed the interior of the shop with sustainable materials,” he said.
“We have also tried to bring in elements of nature like forest and rivers on which they have been residing for years. In addition to this, from the ceiling fan to the washbasins, everything has been made using the products they use,” he said. Sources said the shop will be operated by the Myilar Kaani Kudiyiruppu Eco-Development Committee and the society.
EDO Ganesan said the shop is named ‘Kaani Pazhangudiyinar Vazhviyal Angadi’ that meaning the Kaani Tribal Shop with products they use. “The name also suggests that the shop exhibits the lifestyle of Kaani tribes. The shop is aimed at uplifting the lives of the tribal people,” he said.
Collector Vishnu said that addressing the needs of the tribal community is of prime importance. “From providing organic certificate to allotting space for them in Uzhavar Santhai and now opening a premium shop, their lives are going to change. While this shop could help the tribes, the demand for their product is also expected to rise,” he said.
The shop was opened last Sunday, and in a few hours, the members of the community received an income of Rs 13,000.