Topic : Indian Villages and Nation Development
Shri. R. Elango is a native of Kuthambakkam village born in this village and got educated in the village school. The village Kuthambakkam is only 35 kms away from Chennai on the Chennai – Bangalore National highway but the proximity to city has not brought big changes in this village. The village was kept poor for generations. At the age of boyhood, he was able to watch the menaces due to illicit arrack in his village, particularly durnkard men beating women.Like wise petty quarrels became violent group clashers many time. This created spark in Elango’s mind and it had grown as a big thirst to find solutions for this. This was much fueled when he became a Chemical engineer and became a substantial money earner. He started using the money to rebuild the village community and formed groups like youth groups, women groups, farmers groups to organize them to get empowered. More and more involvement in this created pressure in him to even resign the job and get involved fully in the village development process.
With his family support, especially from his wife he prepared to quit his job when warranted. Incidentally, his wife Mrs. Sumathi got a decent a job in ONGC which gave clearance for Elango to quit his job. He resigned the job in 1994 and came back to the village and started staying in the village. With his experience in research and management, he planned many programs and started implementing those with the support of Government agencies and nationalized banks.
This period between 1994 to 1996 opened way for him to become a recognized social worker in his own village. In 1996, when the Panchayat Elections under the new Panchayat Raj act was conducted he was elected as the president for kuthambakkam Panchayat. In the beginning itself he prepared five year plan encompassing total development. The people, Gramasaba and governments were roped in this process. In five years time from 1996 to 2001, various innovative developments were under taken and the village had reached excellent face lift.
He was reelected in 2001 and he lead the Panchayat for further level of development. In this term the village had reached a hutless status and became self-reliant in many basic needs. The panchayat had revitallized the people group like SHGs, farmers groups and youth groups. Now the village is heading for hunger free status.
Elango founded a trust callled “Trust for village Self governance” (TVSG) in 2001 to mobilize further supports to the panchayat and to the people. The activities further galvanized and he is in the process of networking various panchayats in Tamilnadu and also in other parts of India. This program is growing as “Panchayat Academy”.
Now from 2007 onwards, he is working for various panchayats in Tamilnadu. He is concentrating in establishing a village based “ Network Growth Economy” model. He had been invited by countries like USA, UK, Germany,Italy,Austria and Cuba to share his grass root experiences. He is actively working with Youth of india for building the future of india .