Friends,in one of my previous post I have said about the NGO Payir organisation, Right?? Last Friday I had visited the village Thenur and also met Mr.G.Senthil Kumar, who is running the NGO. It’s been a very long time since I have visited a new village. And on Friday, I have seen the true India. People were relaxed, discussing about the elections while sipping tea in tea shop and care-free. I thought it will take a long time to reach the village but I have reached in 2 hours from Ariyalur near trichy. The roads are somewhat well laid which can sustain the traffic of that villages.
And in Thenur, there is nothing called road. All we have is paths in between the home and crop fields. But its nice as I am seeing them after a very long time. There are paddy fields, Sunflowers, Plaintains, lemon trees and sesame plants. While walking I have asked a village guy where is payir? He said you have to go straight. Then I have asked what is the name of the plant which is beside that path? He said ‘Ellu'(Sesame). As I have said thanks and started to take few steps, the girl with him asked to him, “They not even knowing this”. He replied, “All they know is computers”. Awwww… they don’t know that I am bad on them too 🙂
After reaching there, I have been greeted by Mr.Habeeb,Mr. Sundar and other guy (forgot the name). As I said that I came to see them, they asked how I come to know about this? Then I have said about the magazine in which I have read about them and also the mail I have got about Mr.Senthil. The room which I have first entered has lot of computers (modren ones). Mr.Habeeb, Mr.Sundar and two others were working as software developers. After a short chat, Mr.Habeeb has took me to get a look of what’s really happening. Here is the summarised thing on our discussion:
- This NGO was situated in a 7-acre land and each and every part of this land is used for one or other purpose.
- As Mr.Senthil Kumar was an mechanical engineer, he himself designed the building structure. With high roofs, they look like huts. It is designed in such a way that the heat won’t be felt much. Another interesting thing is the bricks to construct those rooms are being produed there itself with the available sand.
- It has a hospital, a room for computers, a school and another room in construction.
- They have planted coconut trees, amla, groundnuts, sesame and paddy crops. And more interestingly, they are doing organic farming and no artificial minerals are used. And he was trying hard to convince the farmers to support organic farming by explaining the benefits of it.
- A software development project was going on and Mr.Habeeb, Mr.Sundar and 2 others were working in it. A live project based on VB .NET for a company in US. Even software companies were trying hard to get a project. Then you can imagine how hard Mr.Senthil and his friends would have tried to get one. The idea behind this is, giving exposure to the students in the village on how to work in a live software project. He also gives full responsibility to the persons working in the project and never interferes in it expect they asks some clarifications.
- Mr.Senthil Kumar lives there only. I didn’t expected that. Even I didn’t thought that I will be able to meet him. His home is also like computer rooms, the only difference is the roof is made of coconut tree leaves.
When I reached there, Mr.Senthil Kumar was busy with accounting works as the financial year draws to an end. As the clock neared 6, I had the chance to spoke with him. He is very active and as he walking, I have to run to match his speed. He is all enthusaism querying about how I came to know about payir, from where I am coming from, what I am doing, What are my interests, etc. I have replied and also one thing that he has said is, “If you decide to volunteer and if you want to spend a 4 or 8 hours for the cause, then stand by it. It’s nothing to do with money. All it’s there in commiting yourself to the work and your will”. True words. Then we discussed about the subsidies being received by the software companies and industries and the way farmers are being ignored. Then we also discussed about the trees. He has planted a different kind of plant which is from Australia, the seeds of which helps in producing bio-gas. We also tasted the fruit from that tree. It’s like Naval fruit. And he also collected the seeds check what can be done out of it.
He asked me to stay there. As I have already booked the ticket for that night I had to leave. By 6:30 I had left from there as the last bus to Trichy is at that time. While returning I had a good long chat with Mr.Sundar who accompanied me. He has said waht are the difficulties being faced by Mr.Senthil and how he was helping others there. Mr.Sundar also kind enough to invite me to his home and I had a cup of coffee there. It’s a nice meeting with them and what I have learned is funding and volunteering are the problems. If you are able to, do visit the village and also you can make donations. You can be assured that your money is being spent for good cause.
In front of that Australian Plant.. From left: Mr.Sundar, Mr.Habeeb, dono his name :(, Mr. Pachaimuthu, Mr.Senthil Kumar.
Check out the payir site when you have time. http://www.payir.org.
Note: He was one of the 40 youngsters being listed by India today as Spirit of India and rightly so.
In the movie Rajinikanth plays a reformist who returns to India after earning a fortune in the US. Similarly, Senthilkumar, who worked as a software engineer in Detroit, US, at a salary of Rs 4 lakh per month till four years ago, came back to Tamil Nadu to do social service. Thanks to him, Thennur today has an eight-bed hospital, a school and a computer centre.
Senthilkumar has formed a trust called Payir (literally meaning crop), which seeks to remove communal differences between people. To achieve this, he believes, it is essential to equip villagers economically and fulfil their basic needs—healthcare, education, employment and bridging the IT divide. Now he aspires to kick-start such reforms at the national level. “I want to get involved in the development of village communities all over India, especially in the Northeast,” he says. While he invested Rs 30 lakh himself, his friends have been contributing to Payir. Till now he has spent Rs 40 lakh and continues to mobilise funds for expansion of his activities.