The Sona Group and Zoho founder Sridhar Vembu launches book on Smart Villages: Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide
Mr. Chocko Valliappa, Managing Director of The Sona Group, and Zoho founder Sridhar Vembu launched the book Smart Villages: Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide, published by Springer, at Sona College of Technology in Salem. Mr. Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho, received the book at the virtual book launch on September 22, 2021, at 3 p.m. Through case studies from around the world, this book seeks solutions to this issue.
About a century ago, Mahatma Gandhi stated, "The soul of India resides in its villages." He believed that rural development was the way to go. However, a century later, the urban-rural divide in India appears to have widened, and people are still looking for solutions to improve village economies.
The Sona Group, whose MD, Mr. Chocko Valliappa and Mr. Nirmalesh Sampath Kumar, Director, Innovation & R&D, have authored two chapters on the group's efforts in the villages around Salem, staged the book launch ceremony. Because it took place on the property of The Sona Group founder, the ceremony was timed to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi's decision to forego the dhoti and shirt in favor of the loincloth.
Mr. Chocko Valliappa stated how The Sona Group's Sona College of Technology, which was founded by textile tycoon Kalaithanthai Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar. Kalaithanthai Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar did the same thing with tea plantation workers as Mahatma Gandhi did with mining workers in South Africa, and the two men forged a lasting bond. On September 22, 1921, Mahatma Gandhi gave up his shirts and dhoti and went to the loincloth at Chettiar's residence in Madurai.
Chocko Valliappa and Nimalesh K. Sampath Kumar, in their chapter of the book, underline the importance of empowering women via special training so that they can become self-sufficient and equipped with the necessary skills to find work. They explain how to establish a reproducible structure first, and then how to implement treatments based on the framework. The Sona College of Technology at the Women's Technology Park (WTP) in Salem, Tamil Nadu, has made a start with five projects funded by the Department of Science and Technology.