The Sree Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), the sword arm of the 26 per cent Hindu Ezhava community of Kerala, has completed 106 years of existence. The saintly order Sree Narayan Dharma Sangham was founded by Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer and saint of Kerala. Dr Palpu, who had medical education in Banglore, met Swami Vivekananda there, after taking the blessings of Sree Narayana Guru. Based on Vivekananda'sinstructions, he founded the SNDP. Sri Kumaran Asan, the immortal poet of Kerala was its first general secretary.
The SNDP is now led by vibrant, decisive and effective personality Sri Vellapalli Natesan, who has given dynamic leadership to Hindu unity in Kerala, from SCs to Brahmins. During his two decades hard work, he has converted the SNDP into a strong and vibrant organisation, ready to take up the community'sand Hindu issues. He has been the hard critic of church efforts to control and commercialise education and health care. He has taken strong stand against religious conversions.
By adopting several innovative methods the SNDP has emerged as a major community organisation helping its fellowmen.
Educational aid to economically deprived children
Economically deprived children are adopted and put in hostels. Their food, uniform, books and other expenses are taken care of upto employment. Based on qualifications, jobs are also provided in SNDP-run job centres as well as outside. Thousands of youth are drawing benefit from this scheme.
Old age pension
The SNDP has 118 unions and 5488 shakhas worldwide. Selected economically deprived old persons are given Rs 125 pension per month. Lakhs of people are benefiting from this scheme.
Marriage of economically deprived girls
Every year several economically deprived girls are identified and the SNDP make essential arrangements for their marriage by providing gold, dress, wedding feast etc.
Adopting non-earning member families
Families who lose their earning members in accidents are provided home delivery of essential food provisions. Jobs are also given to such people in SNDP-managed margin-free shops.
Jobs to unemployed youth
Almost 1000 auto-rickshaws have been distributed among unemployed youth under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana. Banks are willingly giving loans since SNDP is monitoring repayment effectively. Since autos are purchased in bulk, the Bajaj Auto Ltd has given Rs 10,000 discount per auto and banks give Rs 7,500 subsidy. Loans are arranged for women for starting DTP centres, ladies fancy stores and beauty parlours. For men it is for electronic repair shops and general stores.
A three-day residential camp, with food and accommodation, is organised every month targetting prospective new-weds?both rich and poor attend the camp. Eight major topics affecting them are discussed there.
Personality development and civil services coaching
Besides providing coaching to children in spoken English, personality development, Gita, Gurudev'sdarshan, a civil service training course for prospective IFS, IAS IPS and other civil services is to be commenced shortly.
The micro-financing initiative started by the SNDP in 2004, has now grown into a massive ?banyan tree? consisting of 64,440 Self-Help Groups (SHG) involving 12 lakh women and benefiting 50 lakh people i.e. 1/6th of Kerala'spopulation.
Up to the last month, the total turnover was Rs 810 crore, surpassing Mohammed Yunus of Bangladesh'srecord of 3300 crores in 37 years. The SNDP has outbeaten the Nobel record by its vision, mission and dedication.
SHGs of 12-20 women in each of the 5488 shakhas were formed for overall development like financial, educational, social, cultural and poverty eradication. Name of Sree Narayan Guru is given to each unit and they meet in different houses every week. Here they imbibe qualities of good culture, leadership, public speaking etc.
Rs. 20/- has to be put in by each woman curtailing expenditure, every week. Account is opened in a bank and amount is deposited there. This ensures transparency and interaction with bank officials. After six months, evaluation of internal loans upto Rs 1000 is done. Bank also gives four times of the deposit amount as loan.
In two years, the deposit amount comes to Rs 20,000 and the bank gives Rs 80,000 loan for starting small micro-enterprises. Agarbatti manufacturing, tailoring and garment making, pickles, jams, squashes, soaps, papads, bakery products, electronic and internet related enterprises etc. are started by the SHGs. Marketing is taken up by the shops run by SNDP and majors in the field of agarbatti, textiles, garments and electronics, etc.
Under the Haritha Geetham project, farmers are identified in each shakha and cultivation of paddy, vegetables, banana and coconut are encouraged. Bank loans are also arranged by SNDP for this project.
Kerala is a state which imports more than two lakh litres of milk from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It was Sri Vellapalli Natesan'sidea to start the ?Sheera Samrudhi? project under SHG for self-reliance in milk production. Under this project, farmers are identified in each of the 5488 shakhas and are given 3 cows and a shed. The milk is sold to the milk societies who further supply to government dairies. The plan is to give 20,000 cows to 10,000 farmers. Already 600 cows have been distributed till now. Thus in two-three years Kerala'simport of milk will stop. Best cows are selected, checked by doctors, insured and handed over to farmers. They look after the cows, settle the bank loan and look after their family.
The Rs 20/- thrift started four years ago has become Rs 202 crores. Major Banks like SBI, Canara Bank, State Bank of Travancore, Union Bank, Dhanlakshmi Bank, Federal Bank, South Indian Bank etc. are financing the SNDP projects.
The SNDP, Sree Narayan Trust etc. run almost 70 schools, 23 Art an Science Colleges, 2 ITIs, 7 Engineering Colleges and 3 Hospitals. Plans are in pipeline to start a Medical College at the earliest.
Due to the exposure gained in the SHGs, Hindu Ezhavas have won the three-tier Panchayat polls and are rendering commendable service to society.
Sri Vellapalli Natesan says the idea of SHG struck him when he was organising prayer groups at SNDP shakhas. What started as contribution of Rs 5000 to 25 shakhas has grown into a huge banyan tree comprising of 64,440 SHGs, 12 lakh members, 880 crore turnover and 50 lakh beneficiaries.
If other Hindu community leaders emulate the dynamic vision and missionary zeal of SNDP general secretary Sri Vellapalli Natesan, the economic, social, cultural and educational uplift of Hindu society will be quickened many fold.
May the tribe of Vellapalli Natesan increase!