Activities of the Livelihood Development are organized under the following sectors;
Pottery is an old trade with immense potentials which has never witnessed much change by way of technology adaptation or marketing assistance. IRTC has taken the initiative and studied the socioeconomic condition of the traditional potters of Palakkad district, which hosts the highest number of potter colonies in Kerala. We have then introduced a host of interventions including training for potters, introduction of motorised wheels, pug-mills, value-addition of pottery products, managerial support etc. The pottery division also provides hand holding support to potters in availing various government schemes and programmes meant for them.
Deserving special mention is the introduction of Decoupage (wiki link), a French art form for value addition of pottery products. This unique technology is an easy-to-learn and highly marketable livelihood option for anybody with a keen interest (news links).
Training and facilitation of mushroom-related income generation is an important part of IRTC's work in the livelihood promotion sector. IRTC has established a dedicated laboratory to carry out necessary research for the production and quality control of mushroom spawn. Rural women are engaged in the production and sales of spawn and other mushroom products. Training in various aspects of mushroom cultivation is also imparted to the needy. Anybody interested in learning or marketing of mushroom related products may approach us at any time.
Bamboo-related research and development
Documentation of Bamboo cultivation in the state and preparation of technology inputs and post-harvest technology is being undertaken under the Emeritus Scientist scheme of KSCSTE. Projection of bamboo as a viable livelihood option is an expected outcome of this exercise.
Soaps & Toiletries
The soaps and toiletries division works on the twin philosophy of livelihood generation and alternative politics to the advent of globalisation. Social mobility of rural households is an important outcome. Mobilisation of local resources and utilization of locally available rural human resources is what makes it a unique, viable and replicable model of employment generation.
Support is given to various Self Help Groups under the Theeramythri project of Fisheries Department, Government of Kerala, as its consultant. The project was part of the comprehensive Tsunami rehabilitation programme. The livelihood promotion of Theeramythri includes micro-enterprises to handmade toiletries, garments, coir products, craft etc. The project runs in 9 districts of the state.
Retired Dpty. Director of Agriculture Dept. of Kerala. Formor managing director of KSBCDC and Board member of National Backword classes financial development corporation. From feb 2012 onwards in IRTC, working as aggronomist in the RSTO team.
A grassroots-level activist and former office-bearer of KSSP's various organs, his experience lies in the fields of Social enterprising, livelihood promotion, alternative energy sources, and micro enterprise & Small Businesses. Earlier he has worked in a number of projects for different government agencies including Department of Forests, Department of Fisheries, Panchayat Raj institutions, Ministry of Rural Development, etc.
Sajith Sukumaran specialises in rural livelihoods and micro enterprises. A graduate in mechanical engineering from College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram, with masters in rural management from IRMA, he advises IRTC's livelihoods division.