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  • Cashew factories to be made women-friendly

    Feb 6th, 2019

    Cashew workers are used to poor infrastructure and bare minimum amenities, many of them still working in structures derelict from lack of upkeep. But very soon the 30 factories under the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) will turn into women-friendly spaces, promising all facilities for its largely female labour pool.

    All the run-down units will now get a facelift with hi-tech shelling, peeling and grading sections, dining halls and toilet blocks. “More than two decades without maintenance had made the factories shabby and the current workplace environment is not ideal for its women workforce. So it was decided to upgrade all the factories as women-friendly model units,” KSCDC chairman S. Jayamohan told The Hindu.

    Snehakoodu for children

    Though the factories offer daycare facility, now the workers will have access to more improved crèches named Snehakoodu. “As of now, we have a modest facility to take care of the children. But we are planning to revamp the rooms with cradles and toys, making them more warm and pleasant. Then we will also be giving them cashew vita, a value-added product with high protein content specifically developed for children,” he says

    Study rooms too

    Another highlight of the upgraded factories will be the study rooms where the workers will be provided with newspapers, periodicals and other reference material. “We decided to add a study room to the factories as many women are educated enough to move forward in their career. There are even degree holders among the labourers and at home they have neither time nor provisions to prepare for exams. They can now use this facility during breaks and even come early or stay back for the study room,” he says.

    Vocational training

    Since the industry has been caught in an unprecedented crisis, the corporation also plans to make the women more independent by offering them vocational training. “It’s not possible to provide them work all the days. So they will be given training in handicraft making, poultry farming, catering and some other skills to ensure a steady income flow,” he says. The corporation plans to complete the work within two months and the upgraded facilities are expected to be functional by March.