Tuesday February 14 2006 12:47 IST
MUNDUR: The Integrated Rural Technology Centre, sponsored by the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad, has begun adapting and modifying rural technology and transferring them to the needy.
These include ‘Hot Box’ for saving energy and improved version of chulhas (better known as ‘Parishad aduppu’), training in soap-making and supply of soap kits, mushroom cultivation, pig and rabbit breeding, and supply of pug mill and electric wheels for the potters, mainly to ‘Kumbars’ of the district.
The IRTC has been giving training and technical assistance to peoples’ representatives and officials of grama panchayats in drafting resource maps and watershed master plans. It also organises summer environmental camps for senior students.
The IRTC acts as a technical consultant for drinking water mapping, a project funded by the State Government. The centre has already completed flouride mapping of three panchayats in Chittur block. Also, it has set up facilities to test the quality of water at low cost. Water samples from across the district are tested here.
The IRTC is also a technical consultant for the District Kudumbashree Mission. It trains the Kudumbashree members in breeding of rabbits and pigs, and soap manufacturing. “I have taught more than 500 women by now,” Bhageerathy, an IRTC expert said.
Hundreds of women in and around the district have utilised the Women Technology Park (WTP) at the centre to get training in self-employment and empowerment.
The centre has also been appointed as the consultant for establishing a solid waste management system at Chandra Nagar for the Palakkad municipality. The “aerobic windrow compost system” has been successfully practised at the centre. The IRTC is also the technical consultant for the women empowerment project which is under way at Mararikulam under the initiative of Thomas Issac,” said Parameswaran.
Among the scientists and brains working behind the scenes of the IRTC include Dr M. Lalithambika, a ceramic scientist, and wife of the renowned R V G Menon.
Foreigners flock to the Centre to feel the pulse of rural Kerala. Nancy, a Canadian, is camping at the centre now as part of her project study.
With the centre finding its space in web, it could expect more such people to make it to the centre, spread over eight acres of land in a lush green locality, tailor-made for such an institution and its inmates.