Padavedu Village: The Sustainable Rural Experience

Padavedu village is a village in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, near the city of Vellore. Due to the initiatives undertaken by a private trust, the population of Padavedu is skilled at maintaining a self-sustaining economy.

A tour of the village is available if you want to see the initiatives implemented and the way the local community’s lives have been affected by them.

Implemented initiatives

·         Pre school

A pre-school with a 100% enrolment rate is a good sign for the lowering of drop-out rates in higher grades. The school is managed well and the quality of the education is admirable.

·         Pottery

One family handles the pottery requirements of the village. The trust also enables them to sell their wares outside the village. These orders make up the bulk of their income. Visitors can try their hand at pottery under the guidance of the artisan.

·         Self help groups

Self help groups are formed for village women, who are then trained in a variety of skills like basket weaving, tailoring, handicraft making, and farming. This initiative empowers women to be skilled workers with a modicum of social and financial independence, which they use to save money and take decisions regarding the children’s education.

·         Waste management system

Padavedu has an extremely efficient waste management system, with separation of degradable and non-degradable waste, as well as the establishment of a vermicompost pit, which is a form of community earning.

Cultural preservation

In addition to the social, financial and educational initiatives being implemented in this village, the preservation of cultural and religious structures is also a priority. One major place of worship is the Padavedu Renukambal temple, which is located on the Polur-Vellore road in the Padavedu area. Based on local data, the temple is more than 1000 years old. The history of the temple is entrenched in legend, with the creation of a main statue said to be a ‘swayambhu’ event, i.e. it emerged fully formed. Its care and restoration is currently being funded by the trust.

Aside from the Padavedu Renukambal temple, there are also other temples that were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. These temples are also being funded by the trust.

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