Tender coconut water, shredded coconut in fish curry or chutney in the sandwich- coconut has been of the primary staple foods of our land. But as we savour the delicacies, the hard work of the “padekars”, or the coconut pluckers is often forgotten. One of the most traditional occupations of Goa, the padekars is slowly diminishing in it’s own motherland. But padekar.com, a social-entrepreneurial initiative brings a ray of hope.
The present scenario of padekars is very dismal. The number of padekars are exponentially decreasing, and the new generation is not keen in taking it up as an occupation. The primary reason for the decline is the less attractive remuneration that padekars get for each harvest. But apart from this, the risk involved and with lack of infrastructure and safety measures, the security of the padekars stands vulnerable. Also, there is no insurance cover to the padekars going for harvest, lest if there is any unforeseen incident of accident.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Suprajit Raikar, a young software engineer hailing from Benaulim, has a dream of bringing a new life to the tradition of padekars. With help from the DMD Youth adventure club founded by him and his friends, the initiative has begun to bring padekars online, with a unique online service called padekar.com. With this, the landlords would be able to get details of local padekars just by the click of a mouse, sitting at the comfort of his zone.
“With this, we hope to encourage the youth to pursue this dying tradition as an occupation. It’s our sincere attempt to revive this tradition of Goa”, says Suprajit who spear heads this social entrepreneurial initiative.
As an immediate future plan, the padekar.com is looking to start a padekar training institute. “Our vision is not only to revive this tradition, but to help it grow and strengthen”, says Suprajit.
Padekar.com service would be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. And in the process, it would salvage the dying tradition of our beloved motherland.