‘Proper Brick-Laying is appreciated for Generations’ said the master trainer Sakthivel to the women trainees those are undertaking training on brick laying. ‘When you build with bricks you're creating something that can be appreciated for generations. Masonry is permanent so be cautious and remember you need to do it right - the results of your efforts will be on public display for a long, long time. As you begin your planning it's important to consider size and scale, location, material selection, drainage and appearance’ K.Sakthivel added in EcoN Centre. He spoke to the women those have come for training in masonry skills in Sirugamani.He said that Masonry is a very good livelihood program for young women, too. This course is designed to teach the basic brick laying techniques required to achieve successful results. After first laying bricks to a line, the art of a successful corner building is practiced together with jointing, setting out and various methods of bonding in piers etc. ‘The main practice is required later for accurate corner building and progress onto brick and block cavity wall construction including the correct placing of damp courses, window frames and lintels. Garden walling and retaining walls in Flemish bond are common requests often included as basic training. It is best at first to not get overly technical about the many selections of brick and their individual classifications, so let's deal with a term you probably have heard of before: face brick. There are three basic parts to recognize. They are called the face or front, the top or bottom, and the ends. Depending on how the brick is going to be used, each of the three parts of the brick can be laid in two positions. The illustrations below show the six basic bricklaying positions. The pattern that brick is laid in is actually called the "Bond." We are going to lay our brick in a pattern called running bond. Each row of brick is called a "course" and walls are usually the result of a duplication of two courses, the first course and the alternate course’Sakthivel the masonry trainer continued his guidance to the trainees. He teaches the steps of brick laying and further added,’ Now that you know how to select the number of brick that you need, we have to look at the other key material you need to lay the brick: the mortar. Mortar is made from masonry cement (a combination of Portland cement and hydrated mason's lime), fine mason sand (also known as fine aggregate), and clean water’. During the afternoon session, the coordinator of Villuthuhal of SEVAI shared with the trainees and said’ Livelihoods diversification linked with increased incomes and savings are critical to reducing vulnerability of rural communities. In the non-farm livelihoods sector, SEVAI’s efforts are focused on promotion of self-help groups, skill building, community enterprise in processing of agriculture and technological applications for livelihood promotion. In all villages, SEVAI supports the formation and strengthening of self help groups (SHG). The basic premise is to encourage thrift among the members who are mostly women and provide readily accessible funds at reasonable rates in times of need. These groups provide a platform for bringing women together to discuss issues of common concern. Over time women gain confidence to articulate and express themselves even in the larger village meetings. Mature groups are able to leverage loans from banks. Loans are used for income generation activities including livestock rearing, jasmine cultivation, banana cultivation, construction areas etc. Some groups have taken up trading in banana, organic paddy, etc, to ensure better returns. They make a fair profit in the process. SEVAI provides practical field level accompaniment and necessary training to support these activities. Training men and women in masonry, Ferro cement works, wire bending, carpentry and plumbing is integrated with the process of infrastructure development in all villages through on-the-job training. Trained women masons have since been able to find regular employment and are not dependent on SEVAI’Women SHG coordinators made a point that ‘SEVAI started a process of monitoring progress of these masons to assess the efficacy of the intervention. A "rural technology" training programme was started by the EcoN of SEVAI to develop a cadre of trained persons to support the construction works undertaken by SEVAI, capable of carrying out basic construction technology tasks at the village level. Each training cycle involves a 90 day-course curriculum with 60 days theory-practical sessions and 30 days on-site training.SEVAI invests in skill training of the rural youth - both men and women - especially in masonry, Ferro cement technology, wire bending, plumbing and house painting. Arising from a need to have a cadre of trained masons to support the construction work of the major programmes of SEVAI, we have also realised that enhancing skills of rural youth has been the most effective livelihood enhancing intervention. In a short span of time it increases the employability and income of the people who previously worked only as unskilled wage earners’. Etram News Service.