Sri M. Balachandran was born in Chelanur in Kozhikode district. He got his basic education in Kozhikode. He completed diploma in mechanical engineering from Government Polytechnic College, Kozhikode. After his education, he was employed in various companies in Kerala and abroad. When he retired from formal employment in 2000, he decided to go to Attappady and work for the underprivileged sections of the society, especially the tribal people. He started a tailoring centre for training tribal girls in Agali. He also guided many tribal youth for choosing courses for higher studies and also to find employment. He was one of the founding trustees of Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission in Attappady. He was manager of Malleeswara Vidyanikethan School for many years and played a significant role in developing the school to the Upper Primary level. He was very active in many social spheres in Attappady for more than a decade, especially in organising the tribal people and other rural poor.
Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission has been implementing various skill development initiatives for the tribal women and youth of Attappady since 2011. In 2015, the trust established Balachandran Smaraka Janavaibhava Kendram (BSJK), a multipurpose skill development centre in the revered memory of Sri M. Balachandran, former Vice-President and founder trustee of the mission.The trust organized many Micro Entrepreneur Development Programmes (MEDP) with financial assistance from NABARD in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020.
Trainings were conducted on Garment making, Doll making, Beautician course, Jewellery making and Sari Printing, mobile phone servicing, honey bee keeping etc. Each course was attended by 30 SHG-members. The training programmes lasted 5 days to 13 days. Many of the trainees have started income generation by starting commercial units based on the skill obtained through these trainings.
Training programmes conducted by Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Palakkad were hosted by the centre several times. Trainings were conducted on Garment making, Embroidery etc.
This centre has been set up at BSJK which provides regular training in sewing for women. So far more than 200 women have been trained in sewing at the centre. A garment making unit has been stared at the centre with the women who completed traing from the centre. 34 women are now involved in the garment making. They also make cloth bags at the centre.The women earn a regular income at the centre. The centre was supported by Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity by donation of high speed sewing machines, support for repair work of toilets and improvement in working conditions at the centre.
Sri Balachandran Smaraka Janavaibhava Kendram is a multi-purpose skill development centre located in Agali. The centre has 15 general stitching machines, 15 high-speed motorized stitching machines and 10 computers. The following are the major activities in the centre:
Regular training on stitching and embroidery are being conducted.There is a tailoring instructor to provide these trainings. So far, more than 250 women have received training from the centre.
Regular training on computer basics and diploma in computer applications was started in 2020. Currently more than 50 students are enrolled in various computer related training programs.
Women trained in tailoring and embroidery join the garment production unit. The unit receives regular orders for women wears, tops, cloth bags, masks etc from Palakkad, Koduvayur etc.34 women are now involved in the garment making. They also make cloth bags at the centre.The women earn a regular income at the centre.
Other than regular trainings, there are special trainings conducted in the centre like Career Development Trainings, trainings supported by Jan Shikshan Sansthan etc.
To improve soft skills of the trainees of BSJVK, the organization is conducting Soft Skill Development Training Programs on a monthly basis. Trainings in Self Introduction, CV Preparation, How to attend in Interview, Importance of Communication Skills in Professional & Personal Life, How to Improve Leadership Qualities, Inter-Personal Skill Development Training etc. have been given in the year of 2022 as part of Soft Skill Training Programs
The celebration of Janajatiya Gaurav Diwas (Tribal Pride Day) has been conducted at Balachandran Smaraka Jana Vaibhava Kendram on 15th November 2022. The day is celebrated to recognize the efforts of the tribals in preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of Indian values of national pride, valour and hospitality. The program was conducted jointly by Balachandran Smaraka Jana Vaibhava Kendram & Jan Sikshan Sansthan, Palakkad.
As part of extending the Women Empowerment Activities, BSJVK has planned to set up 5 Women SHGs in different parts of Attappady. The first SHG formed under this program is ‘FASHION AVANUE’. The SHG contains a group of 5 people who have already completed basic stitching training from BSJVK. The SHG has registered as Women Industrial SHG and is now taking commercial stitching orders in nighties, cloth bags, sofa mats etc. The SHG is now in the second phase of training called Advanced Training.. Kallamala is second place identified by SVMM to form SHG and the basic training in stitching is now going on in Kallamala.
Balachandran Smaraka Jana Vaibhava Kendram has planned to set up Women Industrial Self-Help Groups across Attappady with an objective of making the women self-sufficient by encouraging and supporting them to become entrepreneurs. The first SHG been has formed at Agali named FASHION AVANUE. The second SHG group has been formed at Kallamala. Women interested in tailoring and sewing machine operations were identified from the village. The training classes covering basic topics were started in the month of June. Smt. Sheeba, Certified Tailoring Trainer from BSJVK took the classes for the women. To support these efforts of BSJVK, Shanthi Sparsh Charitable Trust donate 10 stitching machines to a group of rural and tribal women in the village. The machines were handed over to the community by Dr. Sreekumar Pillai, Head of Oncology & Prof. of Surgical Oncology, Jubilee Mission Hospital, Thrissur on 24/06/2022.