Why aryanet requires an institutionalized body to spearhead its aims and objectives?

The need and role of a society / institution

Nair service society (NSS) was started in 1914. Sri Mannath Padmanabhan established, expanded and enriched the Society as its Secretary for 31 years and as President for three years. He initiated NSS with long term objectives and clear vision. 


The numerous NSS educational institutions that Kerala has are a result of that vision and leadership. NSS educational institutions are positioned across Kerala helping everyone.

Impact of Initiatives - seen from a wider perspective

The Sreekrishnapuram Govt. Engineering college and other institutions around have acted as catalysts spiralling growth in the surrounding area. New shops, facilities, rented spaces, food outlets, book outlets, etc., have come up and the locality enjoys the benefits directly or indirectly. The wider developments seen at Katampazhipuram Hospital area is due to such institutions around.

Village level micro-financing / assistance

During any family event (wedding, death, etc.) in a close community, the neighbors, friends and relatives, extend financial support. The same is reciprocated when a function takes place on the other side. However, this age old system is slowly eroding, as several wedding invites now carry the wording "no presents please."

Proper counseling and timely advice can assist families to manage their finances better to stand on their legs and to prepare for future financial needs. 

Bank loans, gold loan and money lenders

The wedding cost is rising with the gold prices. Though, dowry is not prevalent within our community, parents provide ample amount of gold when a girl is married off.

The world is not that fair to all. Cases where the parents have taken loans (by pledging property, gold or otherwise) for the eldest daughter's wedding or otherwise, and not able to receive further loan for the younger ones for education or other dare needs are common.

A note on British weddings: The requirement of the newly wed is displayed openly. Relatives and friends join together to buy useful items (TV, Fridge, etc.) for the newly wed. 

It is worthwhile to ponder along making use of such a system within our community.
In order to rise funds, people approach cut throat money lenders and the rates they charge are exorbitant (over 200 % or more) getting in to a debt trap which is difficult to escape from.


Whom to blame for the way things take shape? Of course, right kind of counselings and advice can help many.
An instance: During  Vadakkepat Ashtami-Rohini renovation period, there were about 50 daily workers for a period of one year (2003-04 March). In the evenings, it was noticed that some people  were waiting out side the gate for the workers in the evenings. When realized that they are the money lenders, we spoke to the workers and helped several of them to come out of that debt trap by going out of the way.  

Value of education:

Our communities have understood the value of education and started considering education as a serious matter during the last three decades. In recent times families of our communities have been reckoning the value of education as the most important one and they are going all out to achieve. The proof is the large number of students from our communities prosecuting various courses including professional ones inside / outside Kerala / India. This has resulted in a steep rise in the number of professionals and other degree holders within the community in the last decades. The growth of the community is well reflected in the number of professionals working across the globe.


There is no academic institution above schools that the community owns as on date. This has led to difficulties in getting admission for eligible students of our communities at financially affordable level and imparting good quality of education. Many families are found financially inadequate and they require genuine supporting terms of professional advice to select courses and institutions, and also financial assistance.


There is a large cross section of the community who are in difficult situations in these aspects. They do take loans or sell property or ornaments to educate their children. Some cases seeking financial support have reached the members of aryanet. It is to be considered as the responsibility of aryanet to extend possible assistance to the needy in a timely fashion.

The Sreekrishnapuram Govt. Engineering college has transformed the surrounding area in a big way. New shops, new facilities, rented spaces, food outlets, book outlets, etc., have come up and the people around the locality are enjoying the benefits directly or indirectly. The wider developments seen at Katampazhipuram Hospital area is due to such institutions around.

How is aryanet positioned?

Aryanet is well positioned with several well placed members spearheading to bring about changes across the community with long term goals and objectives. Aryanet can extend possible assistance along counselling, empowering the community and extending possible professional help as and when needed.

In order to provide the needed assistance there requires a focused approach to empower the community by imparting knowledge and information making the members to stand on their own in the long run.

Aryanet looks beyond the present times: Aryanet hopes to achieve empowering the community at large. You are welcome to go through the vision plan (though not exhaustive) with immediate and long terms plans outlined. New ideas and projects can be taken up as and when required.

What is the need of the hour for aryanet to position itself? A larger cross section of the members are positioned to institutionalizing aryanet as a trust or society to make its objectives and vision a reality.

Towards this, we have to understand the differences between a trust and society.

Society vs. Trust

There are differences with respect to forming a trust or a society.


Trust: "Trust" is defined as an obligation annexed to the ownership of property, and arising out of a confidence reposed in and accepted by the owner or declared and accepted by him for the benefit of another, or of another and the owner.


Society: A society may be defined as a company or an association of persons united together by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act jointly for same common purpose. Minimum seven persons, eligible to enter into a contract, can form society. When an NGO is constituted as a society, it is required to be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.


The chief advantage of forming a society are that it gives a corporate appearance to the organization, and provides greater flexibility as it is easier to amend the memorandum and bye laws of the society than in case of trust, terms of which are strictly manifested in the trust deed. However, formation of a society requires more procedural formalities than in case of a trust.


Suggest to go through the following site for details: http://www.mukeshraj.com/ngo.html

Additional info on Trusts, Societies, and Private limited non-profit company: 
http://www.ngosindia.com/resources/ngo_registration.php

Practicing CAs at Bangalore were consulted to get further information on this. In this regard  and based on our requirements, they have advised that:
 
    1. Opting for a a trust easy as the formation of a society requires more procedural formalities than in case of a trust. 
    2. To form a trust just two person only are required. Later on, other trustees can be brought in by the trustee board.
    3. The initial amount per head can be Rs. 1000. This will help us to register the Trust at a registration fees of Rs. 200.
    4. Soon after registration other members can join the Trust and the donation could be Rs.1 lakh per head.
    5. Also need to register the trust for income tax concessions.
    6. Trust can be registered at Bangalore. Its offices can be opened at any other place in India to start operations.
    7. Society can operate only in the place registration.
    8. Trust can operate anywhere within India.
    9. In a "society" asset control will become an issue in the long run.
    10. When a trust closes down, the assets go to the government.

Pointers on registering a trust / society by aryanet

When registering a trust, the general scope of it will be included in, providing room for several activities down the years. Once the trust is formed, the trustees sits and decide on the specific projects to implement, which should be within the preview of what is stated in the trust deed.

The managing trustee in case of a trust will be decided by the trustee board which will happen after the trust is formed.

Trust can be registered at Katampazhipuram, Palghat, Bangalore or Chennai. This requires local assistance for the formation.

After the trust is formed the managing trustee of the trust can be decided by the trustee board. Once the trust is formed, the trustees can deliberate and decide on the specific and immediate projects as well as long term ones to be undertaken and implemented. Of course, these projects should be within the preview of what is stated in the trust deed or bylaw.


The trust can act as a  lender at nominal charges and also ensure that the process is properly institutionalized without taxing these families which is the normal case with most of the financial institutions. Those who take loan from the Trust shall repay the loan after getting employment or becoming able to return the loan in installments over a fixed duration as per the terms and conditions similar to MCM scholarships of Govt. of India. The focus in this regard is merely empowering them by supporting the need of our community by imparting knowledge and information and providing funds and, thus making them to stand on their own over a period of time. This will naturally bring in synergy and togetherness among members of our community.

Financial

If we have to extend anything substantial and long lasting to the community, enough money is required to start with. The initial funds can be considered as a corpus fund or fixed deposit kind of money, and with its bank interest we can take care of some of the initial activities.

The initial fund raising has to come from the trustees. Since bank interests are too low to sustain the operations with bank interest alone, we need to have good investments with the same or maybe the members can make investments and then give the money to  the trust on a need basis.

We have to cut down the overheads (premises, etc.). In fact, there is no need to have an office space as such. We can continue to make use of the cyber space and technologies available to push the activities. We also should be open towards donations.

Need to work towards self sustenance of the body  in the long run. 

Memberships

Once the trust is formed officially, we can open it up to the rest of the members, and accept additional memberships.


Whoever is involved, he / she should be able to commit the time for the trust whole heartily.

A good chemistry should evolve among the trust members which should be there to the thick and thin of all situations (good and bad). This is very crucial to the success of the trust in the long run. 

Scope and operations

The scope of a trust should be clearly spelled out in its bylaws at the time of registration. If the scope of activities is limited, it will choke us later on. Expanding the scope will involve several formalities within or forming another trust, which should be avoided. 


We can prioritize on the projects and activities. When registering the trust its scope can be broader with possible future activities and projects in mind. The terms and conditions in the bylaws can be so set out that it will be easy for the trustee board to expand its operations into relevant domains when the need arises in future. This is the normal practice with respect to all trusts. 


As our initial operations will be minimum, we do not need a separate office and there won't be elaborate day to day activities. For official purposes and for registration, it is required to state an address for the trust. Office address is flexible to change later on.

Nominations

Suggesting Subramanyettan to assume the position of the Managing trustee in case of a trust or as the Chairman of the Society. 

Swamiyettan can be the coordinator / secretary or other relevant position name that may seem suitable depending on whether it is a trust or society.

Outcome of the Bangalore meeting held on 1 July 2008

(Dr. C Subramanyan, Manoj Subramanyan, Dr. Prahlad Vadakkepat. 
Swaminathan joined over telephone.)


  1. Educational loan – to help deserving candidates – could be with interest after the candidate is placed. Interest will start accruing within 3 months of graduation.
  2. To help the people who approach us.
  3. To conduct workshops along presentation skills, personality development.

A cultural change is required to appreciate the need of such assistance.
  1. Need to educate the masses.
  2. To inculcate such general awareness for the good of the community.
  3. To identify the problems the people face. To do a survey on the same.

Career guidance
  1. a good process to take this to the needy across the masses.
  2. To hire an agency to help them out?

Parents should not influence the children in selecting the career beyond a point, should encourage seeking professional help through aryanet when viable. 

Can we identify opinion makers who can influence the mass?

Mass media:
  1. Documentary of the salient features / characteristics of the community.
  2. History of temples, history, albums, songs, …
  3. The past, present and what we should be?

Family tree – summer project for school children – to collect initial data.