The Forestry Department has provided loans of up to ₹2 lakh to tribal families in Kandivazhi settlement near Anaikatti in Coimbatore district to realize their dream of new houses.
The Department has released ₹20,000 each for 10 Irula families in the settlement using funds from the Tamil Nadu Reforestation Project which is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The amount has come as a great relief to the families as construction of their homes is on hold due to financial issues.
Coimbatore District Forest Officer, TK Ashok Kumar, handed over the loans to the families on Saturday in the presence of Deputy Conservator of Forests Mr. Senthil Kumar and Coimbatore Forest Officer, R. Arun Kumar.
The houses are built under the Chief Minister’s Solar Powered Green House project, in which a tribal beneficiary receives ₹3 lakh.
“The government releases the ₹3 lakh to beneficiaries in four stages. They must claim the money when the construction of each stage is completed. The families applied for loans from the Forest Department to complete the construction. The current plan is to have toilets attached to every house and families are also asking for help from corporate social responsibility funds,” said Joshua GPN, a social worker from Anaikatti.
Mr Kumar said Kandivazhi was a forest dependent village and members of the tribal community were also involved in collecting minor forest products such as tamarind, grass for making brooms and gooseberry. The loans were released by DFO as support to the tribal community, he said.
Recipients will be required to repay the loans with minimal interest in 11 months. Tribal families can further avail loans from the regenerated funds with interest.