On October 13th, 2011 I had the opportunity to spend a few hours visiting several facilities supported by SAVE. This was my second visit to the area. In February of this year I attended the opening of the Mundiritoppu Village Community Center. Sonny Saravanan from Tamilnadu Village Outreach also showed me the SAVE supported Health Clinic in Amuur and a crèche, or pre-school feeding and child care center known locally as a Balwadi or Anganwadi.
I also had the chance to visit with the women at a few Community Centers including Mundiritoppu. These Community Centers, established and built by SAVE in association with Tamilnadu Village Outreach, are used for many purposes including after-school tuition centers for students, meetings of women’s organizations and other associations, to host small wedding, engagement, and other village ceremonies, and as sewing and vocational training centers.
I was particularly interested in seeing the skills being learned by the village women. Many of the centers which I visited serve as sewing centers by day, where the women are taught how to sew and embroider under the watchful eye of a skilled teacher. These skills are put to immediate use in making clothing for family and friends. As Deepavali (or Diwali as it is known in Northern India) is coming up, a time when, as part of the celebrations, wearing new clothing is traditional, many of the women were sewing for their own daughters and those of other community members. SAVE, by providing the physical space, sewing machines and the teachers, has given these women an environment where they are able to learn a useful skill ,giving them a sense of pride and an opportunity to contribute to their families’ livelihood. The accompanying pictures show some of their work. Thank you Sonny! It was a great day!