A Silent Revolution
The Journey of the Srinivasan Services Trust | A Silent Revolution
Undertaking an action, without knowing 'what will be the outcome' is something we all do once in our lifetime. The action we start either ends with a failure or changes into a great deed that we have done in our life. The community service arm of TVS Motor Company, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST) is one such thing. When they started it in 1996, they never thought that they were going to change many people's lives. Now, they are here, having created a revolution after 25 years. It's a long journey and they have documented it as a book, 'A Silent Revolution, The Journey of the Srinivasan Services Trust'.
Here are some extracts from the book:
"The story of SST does not begin with the creation of a modest trust in 1996. It began almost a century before, when T.V.Sundaram Iyengar, started a bus service, the first of its kind in south India. It is hard to imagine that a bus could be a thing of wonder, an object of reverence and amazement. But when buses were first introduced in India that is what they were. More than 100 years ago, people saw these vehicles that moved with no horses or oxen in sight and fell to their knees and bowed. This is how the first TVS buses were welcomed in the villages of south India. Worlds of possibility opened up as people could now move around faster and with more ease. Tired feet were gratefully put up and long-suffering beasts of burden were retired." Vehicles and Paths are not just that, it's the symbol of freedom and progress. That's the first thing TVS gave us in south India.
Vehicles may get built in a day, but roads are not. One of the fine works of TVS's social service arm SST was for the people of Elanthapattu situated in Tamil Nadu. "The people who live here in the Javadhu hills, close to nature, are part of the Malayali tribe. For centuries, this community has lived in isolation from the rest of the world. They encountered extreme poverty. While the rest of the world had moved on, they seemed to have been completely left behind, living much like they had hundreds of years ago. According to the community, the most urgent need was for an access road that would connect Elanthapattu to the rest of the world. The people of Elanthapattu had been waiting for three generations for the 3.5 km traditional forest path to be expanded and laid out as a road. SST provided road-laying materials and the community members did the work of laying the road themselves. Many of the men in the community would travel to nearby cities to do the manual work; road-laying was one of the things they knew how to do well.
The pathway was cleared and completed in just three months. The effect of laying the road opened up this tiny hamlet to the world. The fact that the road had been made by the community themselves, after years of waiting, gave the people of Elanthapattu not just a road but a fierce sense of pride as well."
This is one of the works that TVS did with its community services arm. And there are so many works which are elaborated and documented in the book 'The Silent Revolution' by Snigdha Parpudi, the author of the book. Her fine work have been published in Parabola and National Geographic Traveller too. TVS did a great deed by doing community services through its community services arm and Snigdha Parpudi has done a great job by presenting it to us in such a great manner.