Monday, December 03, 2007


Community Centric Sustainable Development

Amithanallur Village in Ellapuram Block of Thiruvallur District, Tamil
Nadu, India is struck by a new Tsunami - the "Community Awakening

The village is poised for a big change - It is waking up from its
slumber. The sleepy community is now turning vibrant thanks to the
initiatives of the community themselves led by their leader Mr. G.
Karunanidhi, Panchayat President and the initiatives of Social
Activists and NGOs.

In the Grama Sabha meeting held on Gandhi Jayanthi day (October 2,
2007), it was resolved to set up a Community College christened as
"Amithanallur Community College (ACC)" by the community, of the
community and for the community. A Self Help Group (SHG) was set up to
administer the affairs of the College in a meeting held by the
community on November 18, 2007 (a few photos attached).

Mr. G. Karunanidhi, Panchayat President of Amithanallur, a local resident
of the village (son of a freedom fighter and Village Head of
Amithanallur for fifteen years,after independence), is truly following
his father's foot steps and the driving force behind the community
college. He was proud to present us his development activities for the
community and the women of the community were all praise for him.

Panchayat Presidents of three other neighbouring villages viz.
Thirunilai, Akkrampakkm and Madura vaasal are members of the SHG. They
were supported right from the beginning by Mr. K. Rangaiyan, Retired
Block Development Officer of Ellapuram Block, Mr. Pal Arasu, a
Gandhian worker from Kanniya Kumari District with more than 40 years
of dedicated community service and Mr. H. Ramalingam, President and
Mr. Purushothaman, Secretary, and members of GCT78, (alumni of Govt.
College of Technology, Coimbatore 1978 Batch), a not for profit NGO
set up for Benchmarking Engineering Services in Social Sector.

Mr. Kris Dev, ICT & e-Gov Consultant, Life Line to Community /
Business offered to extend development support to the Community
College, to set up Village Knowledge Centre.

The community college will cater to all the people in the Ellapuram
block of Thiruvallur District, consisting of 53 Village panchayats and
Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), the project
anounced by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honourable Prime Minister, in his
speech on 15th August, 2003 on the concept promoted by Dr. Abdul
Kalam, Honourable President of India, to bridge the rural-urban divide
and achieving balanced socio-economic development.

Anbarasi, K, a married woman with a child, who has passed the 12th
standard, came forward, to become the first Principal of the College.
She is determined to pursue her higher studies and obtain a doctorate
degree and lead by example. Her husband. Sankar, D., who has studied
up to 5th standard and working in a factory as a loader, is also
determined to take up vocational course as part time student.

One of the first few enrollments, was Aravind Nehru, a sixth standard
student, who desires to become a Collector. Another was Ganapathy
Govindarajan, a 11th standard student who wants to become a doctor, as
the village has no doctor. The community volunteered to extend support
to deserving students.

The Community College passed the resolution to conduct various
informal courses to empower the community members in their chosen
field of specialization. Informal certificates named "Kanavu Pura
(Dream Bird)", "Vellai Pura (Peace Bird)" and "Seyal Pura (Action
Bird)" would be given to deserving citizens in the next Gram Sabha on
26th Jan 2008.

Amithanallur Community College, a transparent community initiative,
through its Grama Sabha, would truly empower the marginalized rural
poor and deserves support from all including central Government, State
Government, National and International NGOs, NRI Community,
Educationists and Educational institutions, corporates as a part of
their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

A NDTV video clipping can be seen at

Kris Dev,
ICT & e-Gov Consultant,
Manthan Awardee 2006 for e-Inclusion & Livelihood Creation.
Life Line to Community / Business, Chennai, TN, India.
Manthan Awardee 2006 for e-Inclusion & Livelihood Creation.
( Ph: 91 98 408 52132 / 1 (206) 274 1635 (VOIP)

Co-Founder, International Transparency & Accountability Network (TrAcNet)

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