3/9/18

Kallukkudiyiruppu, Arimalam Taluk, Pudukkottai - The Village Of A Million Flowers



The Wonderful Transformation of Kallukkudiyiruppu, a small pamphlet which was once notorious for its production of illicit arrack had turned into a wonderful destination for Nature Lovers!


Two decades ago Kallukkudiyiruppu, a small village near Arimalam, Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu was notorious for illicit arrack. The aftermath of involving in the illicit trade had been haunting the village. Police  walk in anytime, take any of them into custody and no question raised. It had become customary and part of their daily life. The villagers walked into station and got out of it through other means.

There was no rescue, generations had fallen into this labyrinth with no exit. Their fate was sealed, and oddly enough they didn’t have any complaints about it.

This vicious cycle whirled for about two decades, no one would have believed that a tiny village with this kind of profile will turn a new leaf and step into something laudable and constrictive.

One man from this village decided to step out of the vicious cycle and wanted to involve into something constructive, Something which may give him financial stability.

He was the very first villager to form a nursery. He formed a simple nursery and started to grow crotons, and flower plants.
Against all odds his nursery struggled and slowly became a successful business model.
All the other people were observing his success, what kindled their fire for change was that the nursery owner was never arrested by the police, never dragged in the streets.
This made the fellow villagers to adopt his success plan and to put it into action.

Fast forward five years, now most of the villagers were toiling in their nursery.
The police jeeps had ceased their unscheduled visits to this village.

Slowly the entire village had become a huge nursery.

Today you can get sapling of any plant you name.

Since they do their business in large volumes huge trucks from neighboring states come here, load their bays full of saplings and go.

It is indeed a great feat.

A copule of days ago Paravaithoppu Arun wanted 27 rare saplings. One of his friends wanted to plant saplings for all 27 Astrological Stars, and we had a short tour through the narrow lanes of this village. Every nursery in this village is unique, they don’t mix up their plants, if one nursery is growing flower plants, the other grows tree saplings and the other grows plants with herbal impact.
Maintaining a nursery is a tough task to accomplish yet almost all the villagers do it with ace. The wage for male workers is Rs.500/- and the female is Rs.140/- (2.15USD)(so much for women's liberation and fair pay policy). These men and women toil in the vast area under the scorching sun from dawn to dusk. 

Strangely the women folks never mumble about their wages. 

The makeshift tent which can be movable, shields the workers from the scorching sun. 


They simply drag the steel frame covered with a green constructive net along a track and guard themselves from the sun. Very exacting  task indeed. 
Men too have similar shade frames, but given tougher task. This man hits the sand with a log and break large sand stones into powder.  His wage is Rs.500/- per work day. (7.68 USD as of today)

Auditor Paravaithoppu Arun talks to one of the owners of the Nursery. 
These saplings would have costed 3000 rupees if purchased, somewhere else! Here they are only around 500 rupees!

Though I have wanted to visit this village for about a couple of years, I could not, then on one Sunday after the Vithaikkalam Event, Mr. Arun was desperate to purchase 27 saplings for 27 stars of the Hindu Astrology. These plants would be donated to Vithaikkalam, and they are going to be planted in East 3rd Street of Pudukkottai District. 

It is in fact a great trip indeed. Sincere Thanks to Mr.Arun, Mr.Gurumurthy, Mr.Balaji Dakshinamoorthy, and little Mugunthan. 

Regards 
Kasthuri Rengan

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