Padavedu is one of the sustainable villages of India. 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 realize so many things. The moment I got down my car and started to explore Padavedu, I realized a village can be more than a city. So, it was definitely a different travel experience for me.
Padavedu – A sustainable village of India
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.