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Good one Series – I (Payir)

March 10, 2009

       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.

Their Vision:

Payir envisages the transformation of Indian villages into a socially stimulating, self reliant, growth oriented community rooted in the principles of Truth – a society where people practice and interact with the highest moral values.

Their Vision:

The belief that every human-being deserves a good quality of life is the driving force of the Payir Ashram – a rural empowerment facilitation centre, henceforth termed as Payir.

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.

Key challenges:

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
Health center:
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

Reading room:
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.

Organic farming:
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:

     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.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2009 11:47 pm

    naan dhaan firstu !!!
    now..lemme read it…..

    P.S: forgive my Tamil 🙂

    kanagu: 🙂
    Your Tamil is good Vinnie 🙂

  2. March 10, 2009 11:57 pm

    Kanagu, Inspiring n great timing…thanks for sharing this..All my st wshes n prayers fo Senthil n team.
    i loved the programs they have taken up..cant seem to catch anything they have missed in areas to empower n make the village self-sufficient! beautiful! i’m way too impressed:)

    whats the meaning of ‘Payir’..i checked their site too??

    kanagu: Thanks Vinnie 🙂
    Payir means Crop.
    They are doing everything to make that village a better place to live.. nice one na 🙂

  3. March 11, 2009 12:02 am

    Kanagu, can u pls change my avatar image?? i am not from Pluto!
    put a cute little girl avatar 🙂 Thanks in advance:)

    kanagu: It is a randomly generated image Vinnie… First I have changed this for Karthik and now for you… no problem.. I am going to put a standard one…. 😀

  4. March 11, 2009 12:36 am

    Man Man….u r getting too good….i loved the way u put it …its very informative, inspiring and good 🙂

    kanagu: Thanks Sahaja 🙂
    I am really happy to hear such comments from you… 🙂

  5. March 11, 2009 1:25 am

    Inspiring article dude… 🙂 Thanks for letting us know about this organisation…

    kanagu: Thanks Ajit 🙂

  6. March 11, 2009 2:55 am

    Really inspiring post Kanagu!:)

    and worth waiting for..
    and please do take pics also when you do visit would love to see them:)
    hope to see more good things here 🙂

    and yes as others have said too.. thank you for letting us know about Payir:)

    hats off to Senthil!

    kanagu: Thanks Indyeah!!!!
    I will surely put the photos here… I am also willing to post things that will inspire us 🙂

  7. March 11, 2009 3:12 am

    A great article to start with for the series. Thanks for sharing the info.

    kanagu: Thanks Vimal 🙂

  8. March 11, 2009 7:02 am

    @ Kanagu

    You have justified my title to u Blog Ulaga Vijayakanth- good job man…

    @ Vin

    PAYIR means =PAYIR… Now Pluto, be a good doggie, fetch fetch…

    kanagu: he he he 🙂
    Thanks Lance 🙂

  9. March 11, 2009 9:29 am

    Wow, that’s some revelation. Thanks for the share. Always pleasing to note tht the world isn’t bereft of samaritans just yet. Kudos to Senthil…


    kanagu: Thanks Kartz 🙂

  10. March 11, 2009 4:39 pm

    Very inspiring!I wish more people were like him especially our politicians who have no idea what public service means…

    kanagu: Don’t show him to politicians…. they will make him also corrupt 😛

  11. Nimmy permalink
    March 11, 2009 6:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing Kanagu..You have put it nicely without making the reader bored.. this is what real social service is..Hats off to Payir..I hope I too wil become someone like him one day…

    kanagu: Thanks Nimmy!!!
    You have an idea.. great… Please do it… as it will change a part of our nation and inspire many 🙂

  12. March 12, 2009 12:16 am

    Great post that highlights some great work!

  13. March 16, 2009 4:29 am

    This is something very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

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