Kochi: Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles was on Tuesday impressed with the `Kudumbashree` project in Kerala in which 40 lakh women are working.
The Duchess was very impressed when she was told that 40 lakh women were involved in the community-based state Poverty Eradication Mission throughout Kerala.
`Is it (project) reaching the grassroots?` she asked, the Ernakulam district coordinator of the project, Tany Thomas, told a news agency.
Thomas told the royal visitor that "we are trying to reach the family through women and we are trying to reach the communities through families".
The Duchess also saw an exhibition of various products of Kudumbashree made of bamboo, wood and terracotta. The terracotta products including jewellery, jumkies, chains with Kathakali motif, decorative candles, eco friendly paper bags and edible products put up at nearby Aluva.
Speaking to some of the women members she said `you are very talented and very creative. It is amazing`.
The women presented the visitor with terracotta jhumkies (earrings) and a terracotta chain with Kathakali motif, decorative candles and a rosewood elephant.
`Kudumbashree` meaning prosperity of the families, aims at empowerment of women by forming self help groups and encouraging their entrepreneurial abilities.
The Aluva municipality welcomed her and a `Onam` festival market was re-created for the visitor with vegetables and Kudumbashree products.
The Municipality presented a decorative forehead mascot adorned by elephants during temple festivities.
The Duchess also met nursing students at the General Hospital and students of various schools.