PADMAVATHI VASANTHAN has risen from rags to being a social sector changemaker who refuses to give up

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Industry: Not-for-Profit

Release Date: 27th May 2022

Company: COROAT Trust
#Views: 75

Meet Padmavathi Vasanthan

She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of COROAT Trust, which she founded in 2009 with three other like-minded women. Padmavathi is also the Founder Director of Akkam ChellaManick (OPC) Private Limited which she founded in May 2021.

COROAT Trust (CORAOT) is a grass root level NGO operating in Tiruchirapalli district in Tamil Nadu that works towards empowering women & children from the marginalized sections of society and traditional artisans. It is also an implementation & resource partner for various civil society organizations & NGOs like NABARD and The Hans Foundation, New Delhi.

In its initial five years starting 2009, COROAT’s interventions were focused on unorganised workers, both men & women, from Gandhi Market region in Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. Around Rs. 46 Lakhs worth of micro credit was mobilized for them 200 such artisans from a Nationalised Bank, and they were taught about thrift and savings through formation of 14 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and reduced their dependence on private money lenders. A trade union “Parambaria Kaivinai Thozhilalar Union“ was also registered in 2012 for promoting the unity of workers, improve their collective bargaining power and claim their rights from the welfare boards. These SHGs initiated by COROAT have since been functioning on their own and continue to get bank credit based on their own credibility to repay.

Since 2014, COROAT has expanded its focus towards empowering women & children of such organized workers. Till date, around 4,600 such children have been impacted from COROAT’s intervention. Around 1,537 children from urban slums have been supported through COROAT’s programme for education and empowerment. Through COROAT’s remedial education programs, another 2,720 children from government schools have improved their learning skills in Tamil, English & Mathematics. COROAT has also provided reproductive health rights training to 343 adolescent girls from urban slums and government middle schools from rural areas.
COROAT has also oriented teachers from 10 government schools in Pondicherry on ways to improve quality of learning skills amongst children from 3rd to 8th standard.
Additionally, as part of the child rights intervention, COROAT has trained 78 women, especially parents of slum children, on hand embroidery, fashion designing using stonework in women garments.
COROAT is also looking to work towards improving the lives & livelihood of transgenders.

Akkam ChellaManick (OPC) Private Limited (Akkam), on the other hand, has recently been set up and is primarily aimed at improving the economic wellbeing of farmers and promotion of employment of unorganized workers through promoting value added products from agricultural produce, and all sorts of agri-business and eco friendly products.

Padmavathi has been working in the development sector for the past 23 years. Prior to founding COROAT in 2009, she worked with the Tamil Nadu State Government, various non-Government and not-for-profit organizations. She also takes up assignments as a freelance consultant with development organisations, international donor agencies, government programmes such as TNSACS, APAC-VHS and TNRTP for monitoring & evaluation of their development projects, and documentation. She has gained expertise in areas of dalit empowerment, women empowerment, muslim women empowerment, HIV / AIDS targeted interventions through state level, national level and international level sponsored projects.

She has also completed research studies on marginalisation of dalit women in India and developed course materials for IGNOU on Gender.

Padmavathi is a member of the Gender Sensitisation and Internal Compliance Committee (GSICC) functioning in the District Court, Tiruchirapalli district. In the past, she was a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) member – a honorary position with Magistrate rank at the district level of Tiruchirapalli district from 2012 to 2019 where she had an opportunity to listen to the lives of juvenile in conflict with law and provided space for children to be listened to and rehabilitated. She is also a founding member of Women in Indian Social Entrepreneurship Network (WISEN) promoted by US Consulate, Chennai, through ANDE and Amani Institute.

BUT…how did she get here?

Click on the video to know more!

Did you find her story inspiring?

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