[ILO 8th SSE Academy]: Human Resource Development Foundation

SSE Organisation
Urban & Rural Regeneration / Community
Governance / Eco-system
Public Policy / Legal Framework

Natesan Thayalan presented the case of India at the ‘social innovation through SSE session of the ‘8th ILO Social and Solidarity Economy Academy’ held in Seoul last June.

Thayalan pointed out that inequalities are widening exponentially as rapid industrialization under the neoliberal globalization trends in India. Those who have fallen out of industrialization are being deprived of employment opportunities and facing severe poverty problems. Especially in rural areas, people migrate to the cities to find jobs, and they are being driven to unskilled labour jobs under a harsh condition. Besides, the agricultural lands in rural areas are being taken away for establishing industrial zones. These phenomena have been increasingly affecting people’s nutritional status and access to health services.

When industrialism concentrates resources in the hands of few, the ‘Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF)’ is supporting social enterprises and cooperatives for inclusive socioeconomic development and sustainable development. Through direct transactions between consumers and producers, they are implementing safe food education programs and campaigns to protect the environment and health while at the same time, promoting regulations that can promote the establishment of legal frameworks that can improve local government’s social enterprises.

** For more details, please refer to the interview video link and script below. 


Question: Can you introduce yourself and the organization that you’re working for?

A: My name is Thayalan, my organization is named as the Human Resource Development Foundation. My organization is mainly working for the economic development of rural poor people through social enterprises, skills building, and the financial support for them to utilizing it as self-employment opportunities. Also, organic agriculture through women, because our target people depend on agriculture. So now we are systematically training how to cultivate organic agriculture for safe, eco-friendly productions to provide safe foods for them. Now many women together who jointly involving in organic agriculture initiatives, they will produce eco-friendly foods and use their family to distribute and sell to the whole community.  So family and community are getting safe, nutritious foods. Due to this reason, their health levels can be improved. And also women getting self-employed and rural women are now getting involved in the Fair Trade businesses through eco-friendly food productions. This initiative is giving them economic development for rural people.

Also, many young people, they don’t have any job. They depend only on government jobs. They don’t have any idea of creating self-employment. So in this context, we are identifying young people, training them, and creating self-employment opportunities for their development. As the garment industry, we train young people, give them certificates, identify jobs from in and outside of the city, then they eventually find the identified good jobs. Also, we train people to go to start their businesses at the local level. For example, in the livestock business, creating dairy milk, poultry farm, and natural products. Through this dairy milk (business), many women are getting jobs, and they use the milk to feed their family and children. Children can get nutritious foods from dairy milk products. Also, meats are sold in the nearest cities and consumed by their family. So they can feed not only their family but also their community with nutritious foods. This also promotes consumer-producer co-production, so they can easily sell (and consume) their products. So this can produce incomes for the people in rural area.

Question: How do you think this connected to the SSE? How SSE helps in this process?

Yes, the next level is creating a community finance system. Communities also do invest, and we are negotiating with the government to get some public investments. For us, as a foundation, we create a community bank. People can get their financial resources from the community bank, and grow their social enterprises. There are all kinds of approaches when we’re thinking about this.

We also create community model shops. There are products produced, and they are sold in useful places for sales. So this type of infrastructures is the one that we will develop to create community finance institutions.

Question: Throughout the week, you learned about different kinds of SSE in other countries. What was the one thing you learned, and you would you like to change in India in this way?

A: Korean innovation stories for the sector were very much impressive and inspiring. I learned much from Korean and Indonesian SSE initiatives case studies. We will set goals in more and more areas. When I go back to my country, I will strengthen more and more on our SSE initiatives for the rural people’s development. Many Korean people are in solidarity, and they have increased participation to develop their SSE system. We will also develop networks among the rural people to improve and promote the SSE.  


** If you want to watch this interview, please click here