Guest speaker: Jayaram Venkatesan
Be Bold. Be Heard.
Learn to make Democracy work
October 20th 2019, 1:00 PM at Westchester Academy(901 Yorkchester Drive, Houston 77079)
Jayaram Venkatesan is the Convener and Cofounder of Arappor Iyakkam, a citizens movement in Tamil Nadu, India. Arappor Iyakkam (Tamil for "People's association for justice through non violent war") was formed in August 2015 and is aimed at creating a just and equitable society. Jayaram started his activism journey in 2002 when he joined AID Cincinnati as a graduate student. He later became a Jeevansaathi and worked on several AID India projects, Eureka being one of them.
As convener of Arappor Iyakkam, Jayaram has been leading several campaigns over the last 4 years. He has been instrumental in exposing blockbuster corruption cases involving politicians of ruling parties as well as the opposition, all with strong evidence and through democratic and legal means.
Jayaram and his team's efforts have led to several positive changes in several agencies such as Tamil Nadu Electricity Department, Chennai Corporation, Health Department and Directorate of Vigilance and Anticorruption. These efforts have resulted in policy changes that is estimated to save several thousand crores for the exchequer.
Jayaram and his team at AI have also been leading the restoration of water bodies, improving quality of public health system and creating awareness among community members about their civic rights and responsibilities. One notable achievement of AI's interventions is the restoration of Villivakkam lake in Chennai. AI is also actively involved in throwing light on the current water crisis in Chennai and has already brought about changes in how Metro Water issues tenders.
Jayaram completed Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and then worked as VP of Countrywide Securities, Los Angeles. He was active in the Cincinnati and Los Angeles chapters of AID before moving back to India in 2007. He worked for the first few years in improving quality of education and on improving livelihood of small and marginal farmers of Tamil Nadu. His initiative called Magasool started along with another friend Ajay has been working with thousands of small and marginal farmers in Tamil Nadu.