Silo India


Silo India is a social enterprise in Manur, Tamil Nadu, set up to work with local communities, NGO’s and private companies to increase the life chances of those living in rural villages.

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Official launch – 9th May 2014

Welcome speeches by Silo India staff and key partners

Firstly a very warm welcome from Swathi Johnson, founder and managing director of Silo India.  Silo India has been two years in the planning so a great moment for Swathi to finally announce that Silo India is ready to commence its work in the community and receive international volunteers.

I then said a few words about my involvement in sport and how it had helped me as individual, not least of all leading me into my career and current employer, Sport Wales.

Then on to the Silabam instructor who talked passionately about this traditional martial art which is one of many cultural activities that is slowly being lost to Tamil Nadu.  He raved about the positive impact that this has had on his life not least of all maintaining his health, not many people can claim to have only suffered from a common cold during their lifetime!  Silo India want people from every community to have the opportunity to take part in this highly skilled, dynamic martial arts.  You’ll see what I mean when you watch the videos at the end of this post.

Then on to our chief guest –  Professor Karunakaran – who is a retired professor specialising in English.

He spoke from the heart about how important it was to have organisations like Silo India working for the community.  There’s no doubt that he will become a real advocate for Silo India.
Professor Karunakaran spoke specifically about two key things:

1.  That young people in India are not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders today.  They need to be well educated, full of confidence and aspiration as it is these people that will really shape the future of the country.  Amongst young people there is a real drive and desire for change, to have greater opportunities and to challenge some of the conventions which perhaps stifle growth and development in this country.
This is a key aspect of Silo India’s work, a great focus will be placed on providing opportunities for young people from poor families in rural villages who currently receive less support and opportunity than their counterparts living in cities.

2.  The treatment of women in India, particularly in the more rural parts of the country.  Simply, for too long women have been treated as second class citizens, given no choice about their life and this has to change.
Womens empowerment is becoming more important here, more and more self-help groups are being established, women have better access to education and in the big metropolitan cities women really are challenging the status quo.  Whilst people would argue that equality does not exist in the west, what women do have is a huge amount of choice and freedom, something that is often taken for granted.
Women here don’t have the choice to pick and choose when they want to ‘play by the rules’ and when they don’t and its for this reason that the womens empowerment project is so important as it really has the potential to transform peoples lives for the better.

Silo India currently provides volunteering opportunities in the following areas:
Sports coaching and development
Womens empowerment

But we are continually seeking input and feedback from our potential customers.
It would be great to hear your views on:

1. What would you want from a volunteer experience and what would make you chose Silo India?

2. And of course if you know of any opportunities where we can market Silo India please get in touch.

Please send your comments to


If you’re still not inspired take a look at these videos.

Live demonstration of Silabam by some local students.

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