Alivu', an umbrella for the physically challenged

Initiative which was started in 2013 has helped over 1,500 people eke out a living.

KOZHIKODE: Under the scorching sun and torrential rain, an umbrella is inevitable. Why not think on an umbrella which is not only a shield but a product of virtue? ‘Alivu’ charitable trust which imparts training the physically challenged in umbrella making is getting appreciation from far and wide. Under the trust, around ten people are weaving out their life. ‘Alivu’ general secretary Shareef Panackal, said the initiative was first carried out by Kudumbashree and continued for around one-and-a-half-years. “Then we thought about helping the disabled people. It’s been three months since they have started umbrella making. The materials required for the work are brought from Thrissur and dispatched to their homes,” he said. The members work from their home, and for each umbrella, they earn Rs 35.

“We are not considering the expenses incurred to buy the raw materials. It is a social commitment for us,” Mr Panackal said. They effectively use the social media platforms for marketing. “The umbrellas are in wide-ranging colours and are mainly three-fold. Price ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 250. In the coming years we will start making umbrellas for kids also,” said K. M. Subaida, a staff member of the trust. The umbrellas will be on sale a few weeks later, and around 140 people have already booked it. Started in 2013 by a group of 10 NRIs at Thalayad, it was a society before transforming into a trust. Until now, it has helped over 1,500 people to eke out a living.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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