The coir industry, once thriving and the cradle of the communist movement in Kerala, is on the decline.

The production process has decentralised from the organised sector to household operations, pushing the coir workers into a marginal existence.  A nexus of bureaucrats, middlemen, contractors and politicians corner all the benefits, while the coir workers toil hard in difficult conditions for a pittance.

It is critical to revive the industry, focus on the coir workers’ rights, ensure dignified work conditions and preserve the traditional industrial technology.


02_Coir trilogy-2_VS.jpg

Gokuldas, a coir worker in Alappuzha, says: ‘This is passed on to us through our dna! This is our family occupation. We are left with no options… so we continue doing this’

 

V. Sasikumar

V. Sasikumar is a Thiruvananthapuram-based filmmaker who focuses on rural, social and cultural issues. This film was made as a part of his 2015 PARI fellowship.

Other stories by V. Sasikumar