Early beginnings Marudhanayagam (Yusuf Khan) was born in Ramanathapuram of present day Tamilnadu. He was one of the most fierce warriors, administrator, and commandant. A series of events which led to Marudhanayagam Pillai befriend and earn the respect of the French and thereby becoming one of the their trusted aide in warfare. He was as fierce as he was versatile given the number of languages he could speak. His much-celebrated career as a commandant and warrior came to an end with an act of betrayal by his trusted aides.
Under the tutelage of Stringer Lawrence, a British commander, Marudhanayagam got trained in European warfare techniques. He was instrumental in outsmarting and winning many wars for the British against other colonial powers. It was opined What Hyder Ali was for speed, Marudhanayagam was for strategy.
Enemies all around
His victories against various rulers and colonialist earned him a lot of enemies. Even as the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to appoint him as the rightful governor, the Nawab of Arcot sought his death. In his last battle, he and his troops in a fort were surrounded by the British so that the supply of food and water could be cut off. The troops and Marudhanayagam were starving for food and water even as they put up a brave fight before the ultimate betrayal happened
Nawab of Arcot hatched a plan to nab Marudhanayagam by bribing his Dewan Srinivas Rao, Marchand the captain and his physician Baba sahib. When Marudhanayagam was offering his prayers, he was tied from the behind and offered to the British. The reasons cited were the betrayal was done to protect themselves from the army surrounding the fort.
It is the 21st century and India is developing rapidly, however, the pace of development in rural and urban India is varying due to the lack of accessibility and opportunities in rural India. While children in these areas have limited access to quality education leading to unemployment and social exclusion, women are still at the back seat of household decision making and contribution to household income.
To break through the traditional norms and empower women in rural India is an ongoing endeavor. Project Nand Ghar, spearheaded by Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources company, brings a ray of hope to rural India by providing education, nutrition, and healthcare to thousands of rural children and empowering women to gain economic independence through livelihood training workshops.
Nand Ghars are state-of-the-art modern Anganwadis built across rural India with a holistic approach to child welfare and skill development for women. Trade-based skill training workshops carried out at Nand Ghars have impacted women from the remotest part of the country enabling them to earn their own livelihood.
Their recent campaign on International Women’s Day was a celebration of #BalanceForBetter where women shared their stories of discovering pathways to self-reliance with help and support by Nand Ghar.
“The outside world was a far off reality for me from inside the boundary of our house. Nand Ghar helped open up the horizons and today, I am earning a livelihood and have found a purpose in Life,” says Dharma Maurya from Varanasi.
Thousands of women like Dharma Maurya have in them the urge to do something but do not have a platform, to begin with. Nand Ghar is giving them a purpose in life and wings to their dreams. Click on the link below to explore their stories.
Anil Agarwal, Founder, and Chairman, Vedanta Group, believes that a nation can only progress if we invest in the future of children and women. Vedanta in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development aims at constructing 4000 Nand Ghars across 11 states in India with the potential of impacting lives of 8.5 Cr children and 2 Cr women in rural India.
In a milestone achievement, Vedanta recently announced the inauguration of its’ 500th Nand Ghar at Chaksu Block in Jaipur. Today, 502 operational Nand Ghars across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are changing the lives of 17,000 children through pre-school learning imparted through advanced teaching with more than 11,000 of them being served nutritious meals every day. More than 8,000 women have obtained trade based skill training at Nand Ghar.
With more than 70% of the population living in rural India, the need for early childhood education and women empowerment cannot be undermined. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of Vedanta which is tirelessly working towards transforming the women and child development landscape in India.