Tuesday, 1 August 2017

My Peek Into Padavedu

Was PADAVEDU just another village for me? My fascination for rural charms takes me to different villages in India. That being said, I love cities, too. To put it aptly, I’d say cities are my home and villages are ‘picnic’ for me. I love villages. No two ways about it. But, my recent visit to Padavedu (an hour drive from Vellore), a village in Tamil Nadu, made me realise so many things. The moment I got down my car and started to explore Padavedu, I realised a village can be more than a city. So, it was definitely a different travel experience for me.



I was so intrigued by Padavedu that I asked my precious Facebook page fans, too, if they would ever move to a village.


Well, Padavedu is a picture of progressive India. Thanks to Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, who made this trip possible for me, and introduced to me the various works that they have done, and are doing for the development of over 5000 villages in India. What I truly appreciate about SST is that it helps villages develop in a holistic and sustainable manner, and create self-reliant communities. They equip people in the villages to work towards Economic Development, Health & Sanitation, Infrastructure, Women Empowerment, Education and Environment.


So how did Padavedu intrigue me?

Seeing children get their due.
The best part about Padavedu is the concept of Anganwadis for the little children in the village, because “to educate a child is to turn walls into doors.” If each village in India has schools for children, there’s nothing more we would need for a happy, self-sufficient and developed country. The Anganwadis in Padavedu don’t just educate children, but also ensure that they breathe in a nice and clean environment, and eat nutritious food.


Sustainability is a way of life in Padavedu.
The folks in Padavedu practice sustainability by doing things like tree planting, using natural resources sensibly, disposing garbage correctly and basically keeping the environment clean. Being so sustainably aware makes the village folks live a healthy life and be more efficient in their jobs.


The women of Padavedu are confident.
A confident woman is the prettiest. Yes, she smiles shyly, her eyes gleam with happiness, her heart has dreams… the women folk of Padavedu are full of confidence, because their jobs are not limited to their homes. They step out to work and help their husbands to create a better life together.


SST provides training programs for both men and women to help them develop their skills, such as banana fibre making, pottery-making, camphor making, farming, etc.

I’m still savouring the deliciousness of the authentic South Indian platter that I had.
Although I’m not a fan of South Indian dishes, the platter that I was served in Padavedu was fabulous. It was served on a banana leaf, which made the experience even more authentic and exclusive. Of course, you can have similar experiences anywhere in India (if you manage to find a good South Indian restaurant), but to have such a platter in a village in Tamil Nadu is an unforgettable affair. I love their veggies, which are cooked in a healthy, nutritious manner.


SST educates and encourages village folks to grow vegetables and fruits organically. They adopt and implement new methods of agriculture, but without losing out on the authenticity of the produce.

   
Padavedu is both traditional and progressive.
I believe a village should never lose its true rustic charm. I loved the thatched roof huts, the little doors, vividly painted walls (pink, green and yellow), mud hearth, banana plantations, coconut trees and the beautiful landscapes of Padavedu.


I just loved the carefree vibe of Padavedu.

I hope SST introduces the concept of home stays in Padavedu, so that travellers like me can explore and experience Padavedu more deeply in the future.

What about you? Has any village ever intrigued you, influenced you to think differently?

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16 comments:

  1. Lovely narration and pretty clicks Renuka. Thank you for such a wonderful post :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Deepika!Thanks to you, too.

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  2. I wouldn't be so brave to move to a village, but I feel intrigued to visit this one! Excellent idea, Renuka!

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    1. I'm sure you will enjoy Padavedu a lot!

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  3. Rustic charms, indeed.
    Anganwadi's have been around for while now, and have been India's answer to early education woes in rural areas, only that in a lot many places they aren't exactly run well.
    Nice to see the village folk make use of natural resources to make a living out of them. Nicer to see that TVS's social wing is closely associated to this village. Thank you for the sights from Padavedu, Renuka. :)

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    1. Yes, Anganwadis are quite an old concept in India. But, it's implemented nicely in Padavedu and other villages under SST.

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  4. Glad to know about such initiatives. Am sure you had a detailed insight.

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    1. Yes, if you visit the SST website, you will be amazed to know the amount of works they have done in the last 20 years..and are still doing.

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  5. That was quite an interesting report, Renuka. You were fortunate to have SST as a guide to offer insights, so we could all learn about what they are doing for the village. It sounds like a fabulous program and, as you say, very progressive. It would be wonderful if it could be one of those "Each One Teach One" programs, where the recipient is required to help another person learn a skill. Free manpower!

    Really liking your photos. Which is your favorite?

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    1. Thanks Linda! Yes, the best thing about SST is that they are not doing any charity, but equipping each individual with something useful. I like the 'rustic' photos the most. :-)

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  6. I had never heard of this place - how inspiring! It's great that things like these are happening. Like you say, a picture of the progressive India. Love it!

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    1. Yeah...Padavedu is an interesting and a progressive village for sure. I hope I get to visit more and more such villages in the days to come.

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  7. What a beautiful area. I love the pops of bright color. What is the white block the girl is cutting near the top? I've never been to India, but I know I'll make it there someday!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! She's making Camphor. Yes, I'm sure you will love India, especially the villages.

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