Navneetham with her family at the Parithi Citizens’ Centre
A quiet and introvert person until a year back, Navaneetham today is brimming with confidence. It is not just one person, more and more people in this tiny village now exude confidence. Navneetham attributes the change to her Citizens’ Centre Enterprise (CCE) called the Parithi Citizens’ Centre, located in Timiri village of Vellore District in Tamil Nadu.
Navneetham runs the CCE along with her husband who gives her unstinting support. The CCE is equipped with a computer, a printer and six typewriters. The couple give lessons in English and Tamil typing. The CCE also offers a number of services to customers such as Internet browsing and online games.
It is not only the access to information and technology that is bringing change to the village. What has also benefitted the village folk are the activities of the Good Governance Rights Protection Committee (GGRPC) that was recently formed at the CCE. The GGRPC has conducted awareness programmes on the Right to Information (RTI) Act and filed petitions to government authorities for pensions, ration cards, etc. on behalf of several needy families. Specialised health care services are not available in Timiri village. So, under the guidance of the couple, the Committee now plans to organise an eye camp in their village. The husband-wife duo are very enthusiastic about making their centre a meaningful platform for social change.
Presently, the CCE operates out of a rented room. The couple plans to shift the centre to a better location and offer more value added services. “Earlier, we taught only typing to students. Now by offering various other services at the CCE, we have been able to increase our net household income by INR 2,000,” says Navneetham. The CCE was started in February 2010, with a loan from Hand in Hand after she became a member of a Self Help Group.
Navneetham’s husband supports her and says he wants her to be self-reliant. The couple have a child, and they are happy they can now hope for quality education for their son. “We want to fulfil our child’s dreams.”