Karthumbi Umbrellas: Let’s Know More About Attapadi Tribal Women’s Brand of Umbrellas

Attapadi tribal women’s Karthumbi brand of umbrellas are a symbol of resilience and community support. This was highlighted in the 111th episode of Mann Ki Baat by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Srushti Pathak
New Update
Karthumbi Umbrellas

With monsoon bringing relief to farmers and the general public suffering from the intense heat, umbrella shopping tops everyone’s to-do list. And while we are looking at gimmicky umbrellas, there’s one brand that holds cultural value. We are talking about Karthumbi Umbrellas, made in Attappadi of Kerala by tribal women.

Karthumbi Umbrellas

“Monsoon is spreading its hues rapidly in different parts of the country. And during this rainy season, the thing that has started being searched for in every home is the ‘umbrella.’ Today in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I want to tell you about a special kind of umbrella. These umbrellas are made in our Kerala. Umbrellas have a special significance in Kerala’s culture. Umbrellas are an important part of many traditions and rituals there. But the umbrella I am talking about is ‘Karthumbi Umbrellas’, made in Attappadi of Kerala. These umbrellas are made by our tribal sisters of Kerala. Today, the demand for these umbrellas is increasing across the country. They are also being sold online. These umbrellas are made under the supervision of ‘Vattalakki Cooperative Agricultural Society’. This society is led by our women’s power,” said Prime Minister Modi.

Karthumbi Umbrellas

‘Karthumbi’ was a cultural group of tribal children at Attappadi. The umbrella adopted it as the brand name. In 2014, when the initiative was launched, around 50 tribal women were given training in umbrella making. Ten of them were given expert training outside Attappadi. In the initial three years, Dubai-based Peace Collective, extended financial support for the umbrella project. In 2017, the State Tribal Development Department gave a revolving fund of Rs.17 lakh. From 1,000 umbrellas in 2014, the venture has grown to selling 17,000 umbrellas a year in 2024. From 50, the number of trained tribal women has gone up to 360.

The umbrella manufacturing has been designed to ensure an additional source of income for women. It is available for sale on Tribes India and retails at Rs.649.

Mann Ki Baat Attapadi Tribal Women Karthumbi Umbrellas