Thiruvalla: As part of efforts to integrate transgender persons into the mainstream, a training programme for the community members in coconut climbing and mushroom cultivation was organised near here.
The event was conducted by the District Krishi Vigyan Kendra attached to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at Thelliyoor in Pathanamthitta district as part of the Navodaya Movement, an initiative of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church aimed at the comprehensive development of transgender community.
The five-day training programme involved training in mechanised palm-tree climbing, scientific coconut management, application of fertilisers, and hands-on training in coconut pest and disease management.
The trainees were exposed to newer farming methods in mushroom cultivation and seed production, packaging and marketing as well. The sessions, led by Alex John and Vinod Mathew KVK programme coordinators, were attended by seven transgender persons hailing from different districts in northern Kerala.
The patron of the Navodaya Movement is H. G Rev Dr Joseph Mar Thoma, the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church , while Bishop Dr Geevarghese Mar Theodosius is the president of the project.
A working transgender person has equal status as every citizen, said Mar Theodosius.
Rev. Abraham P Varkey, Navodaya Movement organiser Preethi Kuruvila, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra head Dr. C P Robert spoke on the occasion. Two trainees were given a coconut climbing machine free of cost along with insurance coverage.