An integral part of Gandhigram’s mission is to follow the path shown by Gandhi and nurture self-employment in rural communities. We do this by means of our Khadi production and village extension programs which are functional in the villages surrounding Gandhigram.
Khadi and Village Extension, Dr. Soundaram Trust and Village Extension program give impetus to the mission of improving the lives of people in these communities through livelihood creation. The activities undertaken in these programs include manufacturing of Khadi, the hand spun fabric hailed by Gandhi as the key to establishing a sense of nationalism and self-reliance. Production of natural dyes and the running of the Gandhigram Press are taken up by the Soundaram Trust and provide direct and indirect employment to hundreds of families.
Partnerships with other non-profit organisations and the Government of Tamil Nadu have enabled us to establish self-help groups for both men and women which, in turn, encourage them to take up small-scale manufacturing activities and participate in local governance. Watershed development and sanitation issues have become the forefront of village extension activities in recent years and substantial progress has been made to address them, with active participation by all stakeholders including the government.