Thannatchi introduced its very own website www.thannatchi.in on July 15.
After the lockdown announced due to corona pandemic, we decided to conducted online webinars on various topics. And the first webinar was on “panchayat finance management” through facebook live.
Following the post card campaign, we organized a one-day fasting protest for demanding the power to panchayat and Gram Sabha to take decision on the existence of TASMAC within the panchayat jurisdiction. In this protest, various organizations and youths participated and extended their support. Also,
well-renowned Gandhiyan, Mrs. Krishnammal Jegnnathan came there and joined us, which added strength to our vision.
We organised a honoring event “Nambikkai Nayagargal” for the contestants, who contested honestly in a fair manner in the local body elections held in December 2019. Many panchayat presidents, vice presidents, ward members, and village volunteers participated in the event and shared their election experiences. Former senior panchayat presidents, namely Mr. R. Elango and Mr. K. Nandagopal gave their valuable inputs to the participants for their successful tenure in the forthcoming years. Mr. Kumar and Mr. Selvam from “Vanagam” emphasized the panchayat’s role in protecting and preserving the natural resources as well as the need and importance of inclusive governance.
We started a post card campaign on February 1, 2020 by sending post cards to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for providing Gram Sabha the power to take decision on the existence of TASMAC shops within the panchayat jurisdiction.
A “Peoples’ Manifesto” for the forthcoming local body election was compiled by us, which emphasized the basic needs of the rural community. It also highlighed the essential demands like local-level power devolution. The manifesto was released in a press meet organized by us on December 7, 2019. We shared this manifesto with all the contesting parties in Tamil Nadu and demanded them to include the same in their own manifesto.
Before the local body election in December 2019, Mr. Nandakumar of Thannatchi and Mr. Siva Elango of “Satta Panchayat Iyakkam” conducted a live session in Thannatchi Facebook page on December 6, 2019 and shared some basic and important information which empowered the newly contesting candidates with steps on filing nominations and other election procedures.
On behalf of “Thannatchi,” we had sent written representations to all district collectors to conduct the forthcoming Gram Sabha on May 1, 2019 after proper public announcement and ensuring that all the lawful procedures are followed. A press release was also done regarding the same.
On October 24, our organization “Thannatchi” was registered as a society under the Tamilnadu Society Registration Act.
In order to reach more general public, a mobile app named “Ullatchi Ungalatchi” was released, which contains the Q & A of “Ooratchi Nirvagam” book that was published earlier by us.
A book on Oratchi Nirvagam that had the basic and important information on Panchayat Local Governance was published and released on April 24, 2018.
We conducted a 2-day workshop on January 20 & 21 in kadavur panchayat organized by “Inba Seva Sangam” on “Ooratchi Nirvagam” to prepare the village people for the forthcoming Gram Sabha on January 26, 2018. We received positive comments from the workshop and we decided to do the same in other villages also.
After the travel campaign, we conducted a 2-weeks continuous campaign from November 10 to 25 at kadavur panchayat on kadvur block (karur district) and melmugam panchayat on mallasamuthiram block (namakkal district) as the local organisations had invited us. These awareness sessions paved way for transparent governace in future both the places, which we feel as our success.
With the aim of creating awareness among the general public on Gram Sabha and its power towards local governance, which is the key factor of people’s democracy we decided to conduct a state-level travel campaign. We planned that travel campaign for a months’ duration, from July 15 to august 15, connecting more than 70 villages from 21 districts covering around 4000 km across Tamil Nadu. Beforehand, we organized a press meet about this campaign at Chennai Press Club on July 13, 2017. This campaign was done under the banner of “Valimaiyana Grama Sabai Valamana Edhirkalam.” During the campaign, we shared with the public, a Q & A guide book on Gram Sabha, various handouts and video dvds, which spoke about the importance of Gram Sabha and the success stories of model villages and the ways and means by which they had achieved the same.
This travel brought us into contact with so many youth groups, organizations, farmers and government officials with whom we at later period worked in coalition with. We started the campaign from kuthambakkam village and ended in the same village Gram Sabha on August 15, 2017.
Unfortunately, after cancellation of the local body election,.the government had decided to hand over all the administrative powers to the special officers. We condemned and protested that undemocratic act of the government and did a one day fasting in the banner of “Ullatchiyil Vendum Makkalaatchi” on November 6. Many social activists, youths, and former village presidents joined hands with us and supported the cause.
We released an introduction guide on September 24, 2016 for the announced local body election that had the basic information about the election.
A state-level essay competition for college and university students was our first approach ever since starting to work under the name of “Ullatchi Ungalatchi.” It was aimed towards sensitizing students on the importance and need of effective local governance. Nearly 150 colleges were approached and there was an overwhelming response from the students. The results were announced on October 2, 2016. All the participants were given participation certificates and among them, the students who came up with extrordinary and inspiring articles were awarded with autobiographies of great leaders like Gandhi, Kamarajar, Jeevanandham, Kakkan etc.