States palmyra products find new takers

Two girls were sitting crouched, keen in what looked like they were in needlework. They were making grow bags for saplings using palm leaves, guided by professional palm tappers from Tuticorin. The girls, K Priyadharshini, 20, and M R Woshambiga, 21, who are pursuing their masters in Tamil in the Shantalinga Adigalar Arts, Science and Tamil College, Perur, were among several youngsters who had come to a workshop on craft-making using palm leaves.
Palm growers and people who run cottage enterprises that make or sell products made from palm leaves – such as pouches, bags and ornamental items – say there is a good demand for such products not only in the state or the country, but also overseas.
Chithra Nambi, director of Swadeshi Palmyrah Industrial Training Institute, Chennai, who trains young women to make products from palm leaves, says this has been the trend for the past three to four years. “Nowadays people are interested in gifts made of palm leaves such as bouquets and ornamental products for marriages and birthdays,” she said.