Sringeri Taluk is a small one consisting of 9 Panchayats and 45 villages. Main activity is agriculture. Arecanut is the main crop of this area. This area is called malenadu area.
Arecanut trees grow up to 60 feet in length. Before monsoon starts, bordo mixture is sprayed on the crop to protect it from diseases. Crop picking starts from October. For spraying and picking, manual labour is required. A section of agriculture labourers are skilled in this job. They are paid a little bit higher wages. In the recent past a disease called yellow disease attacked the arecanut trees throughout malnad area, specially Sringeri region. Once the disease is attacked, the arecanut trees will become weak and the work of climbers is highly dangerous. Many of them lost their life or became partial handicap. On an average 10 to 12 persons are meeting with accident and death annually. We have observed that except MAMCOS, a society, no other institutions are taking care of arecanut tree climbers. Several attempts made to assemble these persons were failed due to the objections of the farmers, because if climbers are gathered at one place, they may raise the daily batta. Hence they prevent the arecanut tree climbers to assemble.
The Counsellors of Jnana Jyothi Financial Literacy Centre, Sringeri could collect phone numbers of 174 arecanut tree climbers so far and able to cover them under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana individually.
Family members and social leaders are appreciating the work of JJFLC, Sringeri in this regard. In the recent financial literacy awareness programme, Sri D K Suresh, President of Addagadde village Panchayat has opined that all the villagers have to be covered under this scheme. He assured his co-operation in this regard. Efforts to cover all the villagers under PMSBY are going on specially with the co-operation of Syndicate Bank branches in this area.