Time flies quickly for J. Somasundaran of Kovalam, the first Akshaya e-kendra entrepreneur in the district.
A few years ago, he stood at the edge of poverty with an eviction notice in his hands, unable to repay the bank loans he had taken to join the government’s e-literacy programme. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur who runs a business through Akshaya’s projects. His 10-year-old daughter, Akshaya, looks up to her father’s achievements with pride.
Mr. Somasundaran’s Akshaya centre near the Kovalam junction, started in 2005, has far too many pieces of electronic equipment that a 100-sq.ft room can contain. With just five staff members, this man has achieved an enviable target in the allotted panchayat of Venganoor and other nearby areas over the years. He stands first in the State for the highest target achieved in registrations for the Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala programme and the Intel Learn Programme under Akshaya for 2012-13.
“I had so much faith in the e-literacy programme started by the government then that I even named my daughter Akshaya. However, things took a turn for the worse and I ended up with nothing. I had to send away my staff. I knocked at the doors of many for the money that I had to get from the government but it never reached my hands,” he said. “However, I believed in hard work, had faith that this is only a phase, and it will pass.”
Today, through the Intel Learn Programme, a community-learning programme with the chip-maker Intel Corporation, he has trained more than 600 groups of students. His greatest joy has been to provide free coaching to the children of Sree Chitra Poor Home in the city.
“I want to achieve more targets next year. The satisfaction that I get being associated with such community programmes can take me through any perils ahead,” said Mr. Somasundaran, who has taken up a few programmes in palliative care and conducts free classes for those who cannot afford the fees.
This early-bird Akshaya entrepreneur is a contented man not resting on his laurels.