Good one Series – I (Payir)
As I said in one of my previous posts I like to show some of the better things happening around us. This is my first post on that. I have chosen the name for this series as ‘Good one’ as my mind didn’t allowed me to go better than that 😀
I am very much moved by this man’s determination which forced me to show the real good things happening in this evil world. Would you believe, an engineer who has earned lakhs and lakhs of rupees in MNCs just give up his job to serve our country and to do something for the upliftment of the society? Yeah, he has done that. His name was Senthil Kumar. Just see his qualification:
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. Amazing, isn’t it?
He has not only overcame the demons in his own mind but also the words from his parents, friends and relatives who I am for sure would have advised against this.
He has started a NGO named Payir Organisation in Thenur Village near Tiruchy district in Tamilnadu with some acres of land donated by his uncle and with the help of his friends.
We will work in rural villages of India to create an atmosphere where people have the space to practice truth. We will lead, create opportunities, facilitate and mentor. We will take a holistic development approach touching all aspects of the society – be it local economy and revenue, social needs like health; education; sanitation; infrastructure, civic and panchayat systems and also spiritual needs. We will not only understand and facilitate work for the identified needs of the current society but more importantly lead with a foresight into the future growth of the society. Through the entire process, we will partner with the local populace and nurture leaders among them for eventual take over. We believe in the realization of the fundamentals of Panchayat Raj as envisaged by Gandhiji.
This NGO was doing the following things:
The project in Thenur, Tamil Nadu is our first attempt to exercise the idea of holistic rural development. The rest of this page captures the key challenges faced and progress we have made since the inception of the project.
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
Programs currently being executed
An outpatient health center with 2 beds, a laboratory and a dispensary has been successfully completed. The health center currently provides first aid, but will be shortly enhanced to provide primary health care.
Few notable highlights:
The architectural design and plan were done with the help of volunteer civil engineers and architects. Architectural design reflects rural life – is simple but practical and appealing.
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.
Most of the labor for the construction came from the village
Has helped establish trust among the villagers about the mission of Payir and role they can play in their own development
The construction of reading room too has been successfully completed along similar lines to the health center. The major objective of the reading room is to provide an informal education to children of the village (4 – 14) yrs. Emphasis is on imparting useful real life 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.
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.
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 believes that this is a milestone in our efforts. We hope that this fuels development of more self groups, which would take us further in the stated objective of empowering the villagers.
I have given most of the information from their main web page: www.payir.org.
And never miss to read his blog. It has very few posts but they are true and hard hitting. I am planning to visit this village next month.