Kottayam: Kerala’s traditional roofing concept using coconut leaves is making a comeback, especially in the tourism sector. The product is much in demand by the resorts giving a shot in the arm for the rural women.
The coconut thatch-making units registered under the Responsible Tourism initiative in the state have reaped a profit this year with resorts resorting to traditional roofs made out of coconut leaves to give them an ethnic look to attract tourists.
The turnover of the units making thatched leaves was Rs 18 lakh from March to July. At least two lakh thatched leaves were sold. There are nearly 800 single coconut thatching units in the state, mostly run by women in their own households. They collect the leaves from their households and make the product with their indigenous expertise. There are 20 supplying units manned by men at Vaikom, Kumarakom and Thiruvananthapuram.
“As of now, the units under the RT initiative provide the products to 12 resorts and there is an increasing demand for them from more resorts,” K. Roopesh Kumar, coordinator of the Responsible Tourism initiative told DC. The supply began in March.
A number of resorts in the state use thatched roofs to attract foreign tourists. “Apart from giving an ethnic feel, the roofs suit the greenery of the state,” Baby Mathew of Somatheeram group of resorts told DC.
The orders are received through an online platform, Kerala responsibletourismnetwork, run by the RT Mission and they are booked through a network of manufacturing and supplying units run mainly by the rural women. The price of a set of thatched leaves comprising two leaves is Rs 14. This is sold to the resorts for Rs 18. “It is going back to the traditional roofing concept of the state that produces cool air,” said Shambu Gopalakrishnan, general manager of Coconut Lagoon resorts. The roofs have to be renewed every year....