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Friends of Coconut Tree

How a simple exercise of making a WIKI, coupled with support from Government, led to popularizing an important scheme for coconut pluckers in Goa.

The discussion around Padekar's started around a couple of months back, when in a few ComePostVille chats, we saw citizens wanting Padekar's/Padeli/Coconut Pluckers, but were not able to find them.

They were either too busy, or were not operating in that area or the number of coconut trees were too less to make the deal financially feasible.

We then started working on a WIKI and appealed to the community to share any contacts of Padekar's whom they know. The aim was to have a list with details like rate per coconut tree, minimum number of coconut trees required for a visit, location in which they operate which the citizens could choose from and also comment/review based on the feedback of the services they got.

While making the list, as I was getting in touch with them over calls (to verify the correctness of information), I slowly started getting into conversations about how they go about their work. As we spoke I realized its a very risky job that is done daily. When I asked them if they have any insurance in case there is an accident, they weren't aware about it.

Friends of Coconut Tree Scheme

We asked around and after a few phone calls, got in touch with the Agriculture Department which informed, there is a "Friends of Coconut Tree" scheme, promoted by the Coconut Development Board of India, where the pluckers are trained and also received a certificate and insurance.

This was exactly what I was looking for and I was surprised why none of the Padekar's knew about the scheme.

The Agriculture Department Officers were very forthcoming and said, they need a minimum of 20 trainees so as to organize the program which could be organized in the first week of November.

We noted all the details that were shared by the Department on what are the benefits and eligibility criteria and made a flyer which was circulated in various chat groups. The response to it was overwhelming and we got the 20 seats filled up very soon.

There were more enquiries from experienced pluckers, who asked specifically about the insurance scheme and whether they could get it without attending the training. The Agriculture Department said this was possible.

It gives me immense happiness that Training Program of 20 Padekars started yesterday and we are in the process of getting around 30 Padekars (New as well as Old) insured. The insurance cover is 5 lakhs with a premium of just Rs 99 which covers fatality as well as injury/disability/hospitalization costs.

Why we need more trained Padekars

If we have more Padekars in Goa, more coconut trees will be attended to and plucking will be more regular, rates charged will be moderated, thereby reducing the costs of the farmers.

ComePostVille thanks the Agriculture Department and the Coconut Development Board for trusting us to coordinate this program and getting the required minimum number of pluckers to attend.

We need to respect this profession, get them insured and train many more youngsters to become "Friends of Coconut Tree".

How can you #PlayYourPart

If you know any Padekars who would benefit from this training and the insurance scheme, or any youngsters who would want to become padekars and enroll for such trainings please comment on this post or get in touch with us on 7972779311 for enquiries in Goa.

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