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PM Modi highlights Karthumbi umbrellas made by Kerala tribal women

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 30:The tribal women in Kerala’s Attapadi, who manufacture Karthumbi umbrellas, got the biggest boost when Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday highlighted them in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

“Umbrellas have a special significance in the culture of Kerala…Umbrellas are an important part of traditions and rituals there…But the umbrella I am talking about is the Karthumbi umbrella…and these are prepared in Attappadi of Kerala…These colourful umbrellas are spectacular…And the speciality is that these umbrellas are made by our tribal sisters of Kerala…Today, Karthumbi Umbrellas are completing the journey from a small village in Kerala to multinational companies…What can be a better example of being ‘vocal for local’?” said PM Modi.

Incidentally, it has been around eight years since this umbrella brand made by around 70 tribal women at Attappadi in Palakkad district was launched.

This innovative project has been promoted by Thampu, an organisation engaged in community projects and Peace Collective, an online community.

Another organisation playing its role is a group of IT professionals under the name of Progressive Techies which is engaged in marketing the umbrellas.

Starting on a modest note, today those behind this project have started to train around 350 women who will be able to soon ply this trade.

These umbrellas, which are sold through online sites, cost around Rs 350 to Rs 390. The major sales happen during the monsoon season during which around 15,000 pieces are sold annually.

With PM Modi now highlighting the Karthumbi umbrellas, those behind this innovative venture are cheered up and expect the sales to grow steeply. –IANS

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