A Report on Naesey by students of York University, UK
In June 2009 Dr. Graham Hamilton and two psychology students visited the interior villages of Tamil Nadu to experience the life while working on a project related to social studies. Report by students Gavin Lewis and Lucy Horn from York University UK is as follows.
What we researched was different and challenging compared to doing research in England. We moved around every corner of the villages at Arakkonam in Tamilnadu, India . We aimed to research how the small rural communities located near the major city Chennai worked and operated, in some cases this involved looking at the supply chains for certain local businesses.
The main focus of our research was on what seemed a relatively small organisation but turned out to be very widespread throughout the Tamil Nadu region. This organisation, called NAESEY (New Era Association of Educated Self Employed Youth) was established three decades before, mainly to promote self-employment opportunities for the unemployed but educated youth.
|Dr Graham Hamilton visiting a NAESEY project brick production site in Tamil Nadu||Lucy, Gavin and Graham in India|
The organisation has been helping both men and women to improve on their skills, it is purely funded by Dr. J. Ramachandran, who takes no profit or assets from the organisation. NAESEY aims to motivate and teach young people on various range of tasks such as computer tasks, electrical wiring, motor winding, tailoring and embroidery.
Visiting the training centres of NAESEY, we surprisingly found that all needed equipments are funded by the organisation and the beneficiaries are using it free of cost to improve upon their skills. Despite being a centre for self employed youth as it states, there were many people at the centres who were a lot older than the rest.
The youngest people there, who came to the centres from school were around 8 years old with the oldest being a sixty year old woman learning embroidery. It is rare in our country for such a diverse range of ages to learn together courses of their interest free of cost.
It is to be highlighted that women from minority community who are deprived of liberty are seen in huge numbers at these centres learning skills of their interest. Also we found women from this community sharing their knowledge with their local friends. Each local area had a main person in charge, and each training centre had a main person in charge as well. These leaders would have regular meetings to discuss on the activities and progress thereafter. These centres are extremely important to the women in the local areas as they provide a secure base for the women to go. Every week each woman takes 100 rupees to a meeting where it is collected by the group leader. This money obviously builds up every week and is used only for times of great importance. It is designed that if someone from the group is having any financial crisis, they can lend money from the group to solve their problems. This money is paid back without any interest. This togetherness from the women in these groups is again rarely seen in our society, as you struggle to get any help for free.
|Dr Graham Hamilton visiting a NAESEY project brick production site in Tamil Nadu|
What NAESEY offers the people of India is the chance to grow and develop skills that in time will allow them to get a small income and perhaps even make their own small business.