We salute the spirit of our great forces & fellow Indians who firmly stood behind Mumbai in recent unfortunate happenings ! Together we will show our strength - as one INDIA
We were excited while through an article from KUMUDAM Tamil Weekly Magazine on 12th November 2008 (issue). It is all about Mr. Senthil Kumar, doing an excellent work at THENUR Village, Perambalur District, Tamil Nadu. We had traced him quickly through Mr. Karthikeyan, who is Kumudam reporter and he is the author of that article.
I, Shiva and Udhay made a visit to meet Mr. Senthil at THENUR Village on 23rd November 2008, Sunday and it was an inspiring sunday for all of us.
Brief Introduction about Senthil and Payir.org
We were stunned to see Senthil's simplicity and enthusiasm, when we saw him at Trichy. He was standing in simple dhoti-shirt dress and a parcel (cotton box) received from Chennai for his BPO Biz, and then we started towards THENUR village. He is doing great job and please go through the below report.
Senthil was a mechanical engineer and working in Mumbai and then moved to IBM, Bangalore. He was very determined and dedicated to do something for poor and village people. In 1999, he decided to go USA for 5 years to make more money and come back to do something for village people and the best part is that he is on his way to achieve his goal.
In fact, he was a Technical Director in Detroit, USA when he resigned and decided to come back in 2004. Honestly, I don't know how many youngsters can do this.
The first fortunate people belongs to THENUR village chosen by Senthil, which is on Trichy-perambalur border, Tamil Nadu. His uncle donated some acres of land and he started an NGO called PAYIR with the help of his friends.
Firstly, Senthil wanted to give Primay Health Center to take care their health.
An outpatient health center with 2 beds, a laboratory and a dispensary has been successfully completed. The health center currently provides first aid and primary health care. Dedicated Doctor is appointed to take care of around 4000 families in that area. Basic health records of visiting patients are maintained.This also gives paramedical staff some hands on experience. Infact these local health workers are given fomal medic training.
Payir has contructed In-patient ward, but it is incomplete due to lack of funding. They need another 3 lakhs to complete in-patient ward, so that minor surgeries and deliveries can be taken care.
Learning Centre at THENUR Village
He has constructed a Learning centre near to Hospital Building. The major objective of the learning centre is to provide an informal education to children of the village (4 - 14) yrs. Emphasis is on imparting useful real life skill education which the children can relate to and put to quick use. For the children between 4 -9 yrs the main subjects would be tamil and mathematics.
In addition to the above the room will also serve a small library - providing newspapers, magazines and books.
BPO Business at THENUR Village
PAYIR started BPO center with 11 computers and few are donated by MRF Company. He is getting jobs from Chennai and he would complete the BPO assignments by village people with little education like 8th standard to 12th standard. Senthil got Broadband internet connection (2 mbps) to THENUR Village and that is another achivement.
Sewing Machine Project
Senthil discussed with few companies in Tirupur and trying to take another project for village people. He would bring materials with measurement to thenur village and will be stiched by trained tailors from the same village. In this way, he would create more employement to those village people. Looking at investment of 3 lakhs(10 machine x 15,000 + other seed capital). Infact he is looking at crating a business model to give back 8% back to investors
Self Help Groups
Facilitated by the interaction between Payir and the local villagers a self-help group has been formed by the villagers. This group has come together to self finance and run a small diary project. This group consists of both men and women, which is significant considering currently the village women are not part of any initiative outside their homes. Also notable is the fact that idea was conceptualized and brought to fruition by the villagers themselves, with Payir merely playing an advisory role.
Payir runs an organic farm within the land donated to it. The main goal of the farm is learn, develop and train villagers on new/traditional environmentally sustainable agricultural techniques. Currently we have a paddy plantation, a coconut grove and a garden of herbs.
We have started producing coconut compost within the farm; this is being used to fertilize the grove and garden. We hope to shortly make this available the villagers for them to use and sell.
Material used and job creation
Most material used in the construction is low cost and environment friendly like earthen bricks, earthen tiles and thatching.
Most of material for construction was locally sourced - An all women's unit took up the brick making, using hand press machines, during course of construction. we visited the site and got hand first hand operation of the machine. Most of the labor for the construction came from the village
FUNDING FOR ALL THE ABOVE PROJECTS
We all know that Senthil would have needed more money for all the above projects.
Senthil has spent all his savings more than Rs. 40 lakhs and he is on his way to achive his goals in life. When we heard this from him - we felt that we are standing in front of a REAL HERO and an excellant human being.
Above everything, Senthil stays in that village and his house doesn't have electricity. He doesn't have any TV or music system. He has very simple cot leads his simple life along with village people and for them.
Why and How Senthil Chose THENUR Village
Thenur village is around 40 km from Trichirappalli, Tamil Nadu (need to go via Manachanallur) and it is a border village between two districts Trichy and Perambalur. Thenur is a typical caste-based village in Tamil Nadu where agriculture is the most important occupation. Thenur has a population of about 3500 belonging to some 13 different castes and at least 2 different religions - Hindu and Islam, predominantly the former. Going by the panchayat records, about 50% of the 550+ households fall under the marginal income group while at least 50 families fall below the poverty line. About 25% of the households are landless labourers - most of them either surviving on landed agriculture/ live-stock farms or dependent occupations and others work as stone breakers, well diggers, construction workers on daily wage scale.
- Lack of primary health care facilities and sanitation
- Very high school drop out rates
- Viable farming and agricultural practices, animal husbandry
- Lack of around-the-year employment opportunities mainly during non-agricultural seasons (or failure of rains) Water management - during rainy season
You can more information at http://www.payir.org/.
You can see all the photos at India Sudar blog at http://picasaweb.%20google.com/%20indiasudar/%20PAYIRORGTHENURVI%20LLAGE
India Sudar and India Vision 2020 platform are very much look forward to be a strong partner with Payir as we do with other organisations. It is our moral duty to support this extra-ordinary initiative !