Over a century back, Swami Vivekananda lamented that “Our great national sin is the neglect of the mass and that is the cause of our downfall. No amount of politics would be of any avail until the mass in India are well educated, well fed and well cared for”.
This outburst of Swami Vivekananda inspired a great champion of the mass, a devoted Gandhian to the core, an Educationist par excellence, a great patriot, a visionary and missionary, Ayya, Dr.T.S.Avinashilingam, the founder of Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Coimbatore, Sri Avinahilingam Education Trust; and Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women – Deemed University and several other Educational Institutions under the umbrella of Sri Avinashilingam Education Trust, Coimbatore to conceive the idea of a Rural Centre in Karamadai block, Mettupalayam Taluk, Coimbatore District, in early 70’s. This Rural Centre situated nearly 50 kms away from Coimbatore city and named as Vivekanandapuram Rural Centre was established to serve the rural farming community around, in the areas of Agriculture and allied disciplines, Nutrition/Health, Education and Self employment of rural youth to result in the improvement of the quality of life of people. Integrated Rural Development approach was initiated, by Dr.(Tmt) Rajammal P. Devadas, the then Principal of Sri Avinashilingam Home Science College, Director of Sri Avinashilingam Education Trust Institution and Assistant Managing Trustee of the Trust, a dynamic personality, an inspiring scholar, eminent educationist, a famous Home Scientist and a great lover of the rural community to achieve maximum output, with assistance from several collaborative agencies, Government and Non-Governmental Organisations and Institutions under the Avinashilingam Education Trust.
The two heads worked together from the beginning to plan and execute suitable programmes at the Rural centre. In the year 1974, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) mooted the idea of establishing Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Farm Science Centers) as innovative institution for imparting training to the farmers / farm women, rural youth and field level extension functionaries and observed that the establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendras was of national importance which would help in accelerating the agricultural production and also in improving the socio-economic condition of the farming community.
The assistance received from the ICAR to establish a Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Vivekanandapuram Rural Centre on 2 nd May, 1979 paved the way for further strengthening the programmes undertaken.