November 17, 2002 

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L.Thankamma, Prasanth Nagar, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram

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For the last 10 years of her career in Rubber Board, pathologist L.Thankamma tried unsuccessfully to popularize a new way of tapping rubber that would yield more latex and be beneficial to the trees.  Yet after retirement from service in 1996, her effort is being recognized.

In the traditional way called DVT, the tapping is done in a vertical profile.  Thankamma’s upward slopping method or IVT has proven to give 70% more yield and increase the life of the trees without spending a single paise.

In 1993, the Board had permitted her to do the research at her own risk in any private rubber estate.  Of the 22 estates that she approached, only New Ambadi estate from Kulasekharam in Tamil Nadu agreed to the experiment.

From those experiments conducted during 1993-96, it was seen that the yield increased by 45%.  This finding was presented at the Swadeshi Science Congress held at Kottayam in 1996.

Later she approached Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC), Palakkad for help in popularizing the method.  The Centre forwarded her proposal to Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, who sanctioned Rs.3 lakhs for the purpose.

The New Ambady estate again requested Thankamma to continue her research there.  This time the yield increased to 72%.  As part of the popularization, the method is being adopted in 2 places at Punaloor and an estate at Karuvara Kundu.

During her days of trials and tribulations, it was her husband, K.B.Muhammad Ali, who was her help and support.


Courtesy: P.Muraleedharan, Mathrubhumi, June 28, 1999

Contributed by: Administrator


"He who is patient in poverty shall become rich."