This article was sponsored by TVS Motor Company.
A A few years ago, a group of men living in a remote village in southern India discovered an alarming threat: the handbag.
The handbag was unlike any ordinary bag they had seen. It was not so much his appearance as what he did and carried that bothered the men of this village.
Available in different shapes, sizes and colors, they noticed that the handbag had the same effect on the wearer – a seemingly dangerous transformation for every villager who carried these handbags. She became confident, fearless and free.
This is an observation that author Snigdha Parupudi highlights in his new book, The Silent Revolution – The Journey of the Srinivasan Services Trust. The book sums up the journey of two decades of rural development initiated by a trust called the Srinivasan Services Trust (SST).
Symbol of social advancement for a marginalized part of society – women, carrying a handbag, represented the act of breaking patriarchal chains.
âIn the bag, there is money, there is freedom, there are plans for the future. A woman with a handbag has things to do and places to go, âwrites Parupudi.
âWith the support of SST, the women who worked in self-help groups (SHGs) were able to earn a good living, provide education for their children and ensure the financial stability of their families. They carried their money and their agency in these handbags, which quickly began to intimidate many men in the village, says the author in conversation with The Better India (TBI).
However, the wave of positive change quickly swept over them as the realization emerged that women’s financial empowerment is indeed good for their families and the community as a whole, in the long run.
These are the examples of positive impact that Parupudi captures in her book which introduces readers to OSH’s inspiring journey to be a catalyst for this transformational change in underserved rural communities. Through engaging anecdotes and unique first-person narratives, the book unveils inspiring stories, which are both deeply personal and collective empathy.
Chronicle of 25 years of brilliance of SST
The Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of Sundaram-Clayton Limited and TVS Motor Company, was founded in 1996, in honor of the company’s founder, TS Srinivasan, with the aim of making his dream of initiate a fair, participatory and sustainable development process in society. To achieve this, SST focuses on empowering communities in the interior through a sustainable model of converting individual beneficiaries into community leaders.
The Trust partners with government agencies, at state and district levels, as well as like-minded businesses to drive large-scale transformation.
One of the main objectives of OSH at the initial stage was to address severe income inequality, especially in rural communities. For change to occur, they had to inspire faith in people, which was only possible by improving their ability to earn a living.
Therefore, SST began by identifying better livelihood opportunities. They have created self-help groups, launched vocational training programs, helped them benefit from government programs and helped those who have jobs to optimize their work through sustainable practices, whether in agriculture or breeding.
It was only after community members realized their own potential to earn a living to live comfortably that they considered improving other aspects, including education and better hygiene.
From empowering women to educating farmers, setting up primary health centers, balwadis and anganwadis, and supporting rural schools, SST has managed to intervene at all levels. levels to implement its holistic development approach.
The book recounts these exemplary interventions initiated by the Trust through six key pillars: economic development, environment, social and cultural development, infrastructure, health care and education. This has helped improve the lives of rural communities.
Released on September 22, 2021, commemorating 25 years of OSH’s journey, the book which is published by HarperCollins India, hopes to be an inspiring read for social science students looking to focus on rural development, government agencies or even companies deliberating on the best model for implementing CSR.
“This book is a testament to the optimistic 25-year growth stories, which began with a few villages in 1996, touched approximately 5,000 villages in five states of India, in one way or another, positively impacting life. about 3 million people, to date, âwrites company president Venu Srinivasan in the book’s preface.
Speaking of his journey writing his first book, author Parupadi adds, âIn many ways this book was very personal to me. Growing up, I had spent 5 years studying at a rural public school in Chidambaram, where I saw many of my classmates drop out before I even finished Class 10. Traveling and researching the book, I I was able to identify with similar cases. But the most important goal, at all times, was to be a way to reflect the silent revolution initiated by SST and experienced by the thousands of beneficiaries.