Tree Climber to Aiswariya Engineering College and Technology


Climbing a coconut tree is a risky occupation, which requires some level of skill in climbing trees. Generally, people climb with their bare hands and feet by using foot strap made up of material like coir, jute etc. This will hurt the foot, chest, hand and skin but it will toughen up with practice in the long run. This job is fit for adult men. They climb 30 feet to 40 feet tall trees by using the simple strap. They could climb 40 to 50 coconut trees daily and can earn a sum of Rs. 800 to Rs.1000.

In the period 1980-1990, we have seen the coconut climbers by a team of 15 to 20 with a person as head. Among this group, 10 people will be climbers and the rest of them will engage in collecting coconuts. The majority of the team members will be in the age group of 25-35. Year after year the number of people engaged in the occupation decreases and very few new comers entered in the occupation as part-time basis.

The major problem in this occupation is risky and low income. There are incidents of people fell down from the tree. They have no insurance, no medical benefit, and no compensation. After the age of 45 – 50 the climbers refrain in doing this job due to physical and mental efficiency.

It is interesting to see that now what a small group of youngsters are doing this occupation with specially designed equipment. It is also exciting  to know that very few women are also using the specially designed equipment for climbing coconut trees.

IEEE ADSF SIGHT coconut tree

“Technology for All’ the Summer Camp Effect

The various problems involved in the coconut climbing occupation, IEEE ADSF SIGHT included the said subject in the “Technology for All’ summer camp held on 26-30 June 2016. During the camp, a team visited the coconut tree climbers who are climbing by barefoot and also met another man who uses equipment for climbing coconut tree. Students from Knowledge Institute of Technology, Aiswariya College of Engineering and Technology (ACET) Trinity College of Engineering are shown interest in modifying the existing equipment with additional features that will simply further the task of climbing the trees. They also suggested methods to remove coconut from husk which is labor intensive and get very mere income. When Mr. J. Vincent Jain [1], visited the ACET on 28th September 2016 for the VIDYUT 2K16 [2] the coconut tree climbing issues were also discussed with the students.  The VIDYUT 2K16 was well organized by the students with the support of the college management. Almost all the students of the college are from villages and they are from economically backward group. The parents of the students are coconut tree, palm tree climbers, farmers, weavers etc. The incomes from these occupations are very low and it will not meet their bare-subsistence needs. Mr. Jain promised them to provide a pair of coconut tree climbing equipment to the college for training the local people with the condition that the management of the college must take care of the training cost and procure sufficient training materials. They also discussed the possibilities of forming IEEE student branch and also SIGHT group in the college.

IEEE ADSF SIGHT coconut tree

The Training

On October 29th October 2016 IEEE Madras Section SIGHT organized a small program at Eathamozhy, Nagercoil for giving coconut tree climbing training to ACET students and also for giving a pair of coconut tree climbing equipment to them. Er. Kumanan [3] welcomed the gathering. Thanks to Kumanan for coming a day before from Manglore for making necessary arrangements for the program. The training was given by a local expert in coconut tree climbing Mr. Nagarajan. Mr. Jain has handed over the equipment to the ACET students lead by Prof. Milton. Er. Pradheep Raja, the chief guest of the day wished the ACET team. Dr. Chellakumar Rose [4] praised the IEEE Madras Section SIGHT for initiating a dignified activity for the unidentified group. Mr. Mano, A.K [5] proposed vote of thanks to everyone.

Reported by J. Vincent Jain

[1] Chair-IEEE ADSF SIGHT and IEEE Madras Section SIGHT

[2] A National Level Symposium organized by Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, ACET

[3] Secretary, IEEE ADSF SIGHT

[4] Dean, Annai Vailankanni College of Engineering

[5] Student from ACET