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Day 9 : "Common Indians", Armstrong Textiles and an inspiring experience

Dear Supporters, as we approach day 10 of our journey, which marks the halfway point of the walk, Natesa and I took a brief respite from the walking schedule to meet some people who are part of very important initiatives.

In the morning, we met a group who call themselves the “Common Indians”, established around 3 years ago, who are actively helping children from poorer backgrounds with heart problems. By doing so, they help the parents of these children overcome the economic problems faced by having to pay for sufficient healthcare. After a fruitful visit to their offices, they have been invited to join us for a small section of the walk. Which they have accepted.

In the late morning, we were at the Pallam rural Centre, a place where I had actually visited all those years back in 1981. The centre has continually grown and helps pass over 500 students, by funding their schooling through the fair trade, ethical sales of organic soap across the world.

In the late afternoon, we were in for an awe-inspiring treat, as we visited Armstrong, a textiles and garments factory with around 1500 workers. This company, my friends, is setting new standards for the fair trade movement itself. They comprehensively redefine the terms of fair trade, by not just prophesising but practicing energy efficiency and sustainability, especially with regard to water consumption. What is most uplifting, is that the entire work force understands the concept of fair trade and why it is important. Knowledge is power my friends!

They are a solid example of eco-friendly, ethical but profitable business. They employ millions, providing fair livelihood. You really do make everyone’s “arms”, “strong”!

Continue the good work that you do, and spread the message of fair trade and sustainability to everyone. 50 + have pledged to join in for a stretch of the walk to Avinasi (on our way to Coimbatore).

Last but not least, an excellent, yet short meeting with Jambu Keswaran, a young CEO of a clothing store called True Balance, who epitomises balance truly. They offer clothes made from sustainable sources and support the fair trade movement fully.

I am tired, but exhilarated by the day’s visits. The incredible social work, the intricate understanding of the causes for what I walk and the businesses that show that profit and ethics have room for each other, has touched me deeply.

Join us for Day 10 tomorrow, as the WALK CONTINUES!

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy,
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