Saturday, September 15, 2012

Unusual occupations - Coconut tree climber

Coconut tree climber
Bangalore is never short of coconut trees. Coconut trees were everywhere before the concrete jungle took over. In apartments like ours where  a few lucky trees survived the axe when the builders started construction are today a welcome respite to the little greenery left in urban spaces. The coconut trees are not maintenance free. They need sprucing up.  The coconut produce is big business . It is normally leased out to the person who also climbs up to fell the produce and trim up the tree.    

He was at work this morning and so I gave my swimming practice a miss.
The coconut tree climber.
Muniyappa climbs coconut trees. He fells the coconut, cut the dry leaves off the branches and makes a living out of the per tree wages and by taking a portion of the produce that he plucks.
His is a dangerous job.   It is not just about the danger of climbing these heights. Coconut trees  abound with insects like scorpions and many of them go helter skelter when the branches are cut. A scorpion sting can be excruciatingly painful, poisonous and sometimes fatal.
He probably has no medical insurance or disability insurance. 
A free fall from a tree can paralyse the person for life.

For those of us working in comfortable airconditioned office spaces here is a blessing to count.
Or Maybe there is a lot of fun that we are missing out on. 

With rising literacy levels and a wide choice of safer occupations, it will not be unfair to say that the occupation is on the verge of extinction and soon enought machines and robots would replace the coconut tree climber.   

A search on google and youtube throws out abundant number of indigenous inventions primarily from Kerala to overcome the shortfall in the number of coconut tree climbers.  

A diesel operated motor used in yet another indigeneously Indian way. Click  Here to watch one of them . 
Is this what they call ‘Jugaad’? :)






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