'More women should be employed in coir industry of Alappuzha': Kajal Deth

Much of her art documents the plight of coir workers


Kajal Deth

artist, Alappuzha (Kerala)

Kajal Deth completed her BFA in painting from RLV College. Born in Alappuzha, Kerala, known for its coir industry, much of her work documents the plight of coir workers, especially women. The industry is over 200 years old and has evolved from a domestic activity to a partially mechanised industry employing thousands of people. Seeing these workers’ affinity to life, despite their daily struggles, is her energy source.

The change I would like to see

I want to bring awareness about the plight of coir workers through my work, whether it is photography or painting. What I do is almost like a social media experiment, documenting the sociopolitical changes of this area. Unfortunately, the coir industry has not been upgraded through mechanisation, although the scene is changing now. This yarn is so eco-friendly that I hope we get more orders from all over the world. The glory of Alappuzha is the coir industry. But the exporting of coir has diminished compared with 20 years ago. This situation should be rectified. Also, more women should be employed in this male-dominated industry.

As told to Anjuly Mathai