These conversations with scholars, associates and followers of the late Gandhian scholar and political thinker, Sri. Dharampal is being brought out during his centenary year celebrations. This is being targeted to general audience who are interested / concerned about where we are as a society today in India and who want to understand the current issues and challenges from the perspective and knowledge prism of Sri. Dharampal.
Prof. Shambu Prasad currently is based out of IRMA, Anand, Gujarat and has been associated in various forms with Dharampalji's work since the students days in IIT-M in Chennai and through his association with the grassroot movements and linking them to academia. In this episode, he talks about the need for dissent in scholarship and the role of Dharampal in understanding not just aspects of our history but also the Indian Ethos.
Prof. Prasad feels that the best honour that India and its people can do to celebrate Dharampalji would be to concentrate on the 3Ds of De-centralization, Diversity and Dialogue.
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Krishnan and Gowri quit their corporate jobs to start a social enterprise to design, stitch and market cloth bags in 2015 - the Yellow Bag story started that way. Soon they moved to Madurai and set-up an office in the middle of a low income area in the city, a location where they found women of lower income families willing to come to work with them, but, not necessarily where they can attract corporate clientele.
Going through the regular pangs of a Social Enterprise, they have seen the good and bad times, but unlike most other such ventures, they also created space for others to stay and work with them even as they took time to visit and help trouble shoot for other social enterprises. This created an informal network of friends sharing common ideas and aspirations to often 'hang out' together and the Madurai office became a special place.
Pandemic imposed on all enterprises the challenge of having to sustain manpower, cut down overheads and tighten expenses, so, informal network of friends pooled in their resources, skills and labour force and shared the space in Madurai to bring together 3 companies under 1 roof currently - Maker's Cart (the cloth bag company), Yaadhum (an Wellness products distribution venture for a community) and Shapers (a designing and packaging company). While the youngest among the 6 people team that manages these ventures, Gomani Rajan started off as an intern and stayed on to manage the design and packaging company, Palaniappan had already transited from corporate world to managing an Organic shop in Chennai for about a year, Purushothaman came from a corporate background and is a self-development teacher and Ramajayam is a Gandhi Fellow who looked to work with community institutions always.
In this episode, they share the story of how the place that Yellow Bag operated out of now houses 3 companies and many more in the drawing board, some of the unique aspects are apart from the shared workspace are -
1. Shared Responsibility - "I always felt there were skill gaps in my work and had to reach out, now I have people in-house who fill in some of these gaps for me and that is a relief" says Krishnan
2. Shared Work Force & Learning - "Enterprises reach a stage of auto-pilot mode in which they are automatically working, here we are not reaching that stage at all, everyone is learning. People who were only stitching till couple of months ago are today also entering accounts and following up with clients over phone", says Purushoth
3. Living with wants - "It is not easy, but, we are all drawing inspiration from each other and leading a simple life with minimal wants. we are helping the work force too to identify their wants and address them", says Ram
4. Evolving as a Community - "I am about to be married and already the team had identified an initiative that suits my fiance and she is interested as well, I don't have to think of everything", says Gomani
5. People and not Money matter - "Families understand that we are not making millions here, but, they recognize that there is a camaraderie that will support each other and this is important".
I am happy to bring this joint interview with this amazing team on their aspirations, ideas and challenges here. Perhaps another idea of Future Institution that is evolving in our midst while idealists are designing post-pandemic world and skeptics are sitting tight worrying.
Baskar Arumugam is a social thinker and activist. He creates and sustains dialogues around important issues today with sensitivity and responsibility that others don’t manage to hold. Through his interaction and engagement with teachers and students on women welfare issues, he is able to draw attention to and share concerns with important insights.
Here is an interview in Tamil during which he speaks about the changing nature of schools, education institutions and how women and gender sensitivity issues are handled in schools. In the process he points to several important issues including -
1. The challenges of the current generation of parents
2. Teachers and their pressure
3. Reference points of what is family among students
4. Technology and its role in influencing
5. Growth of violence amongst us today
6. Need for platforms to discuss and understand
You can reach Baskar through his Facebook page here.
English below -- இந்தியாவில் ஏறத்தாழ 44 லட்சம் தொழிலாளர்கள் கொண்டு மிகப்பெரிய உற்பத்தி துறை தோல் பதனிடுதல், அதனைக்கொண்டு பொருட்கள் தயாரித்தல் மற்றும் அதனை சார்ந்த தொழில்கள். தமிழகம் இந்தியாவில் தோல் சார்ந்த தொழில்களில் முதலிடம் வகிக்கின்றது. இங்கு அந்த துறையை சார்ந்த தொழில்களும், தொழிலாளர்களும் மிக அதிகம்.
இந்த நேர்காணலில் ஒரு சிறு (MSME) தோல் பொருள் தயாரிக்கும் (40 பேரை வேலைக்கு அமர்த்தும் ஒரு தயாரிப்பு நிறுவனர் மற்றும் அதன் தலைவர்) திரு. ராஜாராம் அவர்களுடன் இந்த துறை, மற்றும் கொரோனா வைரஸ் மூலமாக இந்த துறைக்கு ஏபட்டுள்ள நஷ்டம் குறித்து உரையாடுகிறோம்.
Each episode brings an industry / economy / livelihood sector impacted by the Corona virus lockdown and overall economic slowdown. This episode has an interview in Tamil with a leather products manufacturer Mr. Rajaraman. This sector employs over 4 million people across the country and in the small and medium segment that he represents (with 40 - 200 labourers), there are more than 300 units in Tamilnadu alone.
தமிழகத்தின் பல பகுதிகளில் எந்த விதத்தில் கொரோனா வைரசுக்கு எதிரான ஊரடங்கு உத்தரவினால் பொருளாதார மற்றும் வாழ்க்கை பாதிப்பு ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது என்பதை இந்த தொடரில் கேட்கலாம். இந்த அத்தியாயத்தில், விருதுநகரின் ஒரு கிராமத்தில் இயல்பு நிலை எந்த அளவிற்கு பாதித்துள்ளது என்பதை அங்கு வசித்து வரும் ஊர் பெரியவர், திரு. உலகந்தான் அவர்களுடன் ஒரு பேட்டி.