“Only when the villages prosper”, said Mahatma Gandhi, “can India truly prosper”. Amidst the bustle of the big cities and the drive to transform the Young Republic of India into a global superpower it is easy to forget the villages role in the growth narrative.  And yet, the world’s largest democracy cannot ignore the needs of those vital voters who live in the 500,000 villages working the land or, marooned in lives on less than a $2 a day. These are the roots of “inclusive growth”.

Back in the 1970’s Ramachandran, an entrepreneur from Chennai, set up the NAESEY (New Era Association of educated Self-Employed Youth) Project as a Charitable Foundation aimed at offering training on basic skills for the youth in the villages of Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Ramachandran is the Chancellor of AMET University, India’s first Maritime University, and the funding for NAESEY is generated from profits from his various business ventures. So far, over 150,000 have benefited from this initiative; many of them on three month training courses geared to increase skills capacity in rural areas, generate sustainable small business ventures and promote self esteem.

As recent posts illustrate, Transformational Logistics is looking for ideas all along the supply chain to improve connectivity between rural areas and, wider markets. Working with T L sponsors Archomai and the support of Ramachandran, Dr Graham Hamilton of York St John University flew to Tamil Nadu with colleagues to study village realities through the eyes of the NAESEY project.

Dr Hamilton visiting a NEASEY project brick production site

Dr Graham Hamilton visiting a NEASEY project brick production site in Tamil Nadu

Dr Hamilton and his team lived and travelled amongst the villages of Tamil Nadu where NAESEY is active. The scheme works from 58 centres across Tamil Nadu offering free industrial training on core skills such as computers; craft skills such as tailoring and embroidery and, much needed skills on radio, tv and mobile phone mechanisms. NAESEY offers free training for up to three months and structures courses in learning centres set up to serve and increase the skills capacity of local villagers. Other projects are on the go from mushroom cultivation to brick kilns .

Dr Hamilton and his team travelled the villages with the hugely enthusiastic and committed Vasu, the Coordinator of the NAESEY Programme. They ate, slept and worked alongside the trainers and had open access to trainees on courses from embroidery to computers.  

With Vasu in a Tamil Nadu village

With Vasu in a Tamil Nadu village


NEASEY pays particular attention to training for women. (more…)