Makkal Mandram (People’s Forum)

Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

  • Last updated: January 30, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: January 30, 2018

Mission Statement

Resources should be held in common and fairly shared by all people.Caring for the earth and caring for people is the core to continued human existence on this planet. Common people should have access to all resources, get enough opportunities and be part of decision making processes impacting their lives. People around the world need to be supported in their struggle for liberation from oppression and exploitation. The rich, vibrant diversity of nature and culture needs to be preserved.

Community Description

Our Commune comprises core members of our people’s organization called Makkal Mandram (meaning People’s Forum) which works among the most marginalized Tribal (indigenous) and Dalit (caste oppressed) communities in the northern part of Tamil Nadu. Our main work is socio-political in nature. The core principles of our commune life includes social justice, equity, shared living (sharing household chores, raising children, social and political work), trust and cooperation. We don’t own private property. Our children go to government schools. We go to government hospitals for our healthcare needs. We believe that manual labour and brain work should be treated equally. We do physical labour in our farms and construction activities whenever need arises.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 18
  • Start Living Together: 17
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Mahesh / Jessy / Geeta
  • Phone: 9787011896
  • Community Address:
    Sengodiyur, Mangalapadi Village
    Melkathirpur Post
    Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, 631502
  • Location


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent
  • Current Number of Residences: 5
  • Planned number of residences: 1
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    The Commune has one big house which is shared accommodation for most of us. Additionally, there are around four single family houses for couples in our commune.


  • Adult Members: 20
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 4
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    We welcome volunteers. They must be open to a simple rural lifestyle. They should be willing to share in all the activities to the best of their abilities. This includes household chores, village visits, meetings with government officials, visits to police stations and hospitals, doing case-work, organizing public meetings, rallies, conferences, workshops, training etc. They should be prepared for physical labour, political discussion groups, paradigm shifts, cultural events, informal interactions. They should be committed, earnest, willing to learn, observe, analyse and have a sense of humour. They cannot smoke or drink in the village.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    A person wishing to join our community needs to have a deep commitment to social activism. They must be committed to establishing an egalitarian society free from caste oppression, class exploitation and patriarchal domination. They must be over 18 years of age. Schooling is not necessary, but one must have a willingness and curiosity to learn new things, read books and watch videos. They must be willing to accept socialist principles (no private property and no super profit generation), willing to share and participate in all activities and contribute their labour towards it.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We have a core leadership group. Certain matters are decided by this group eg. finances etc. While the entire commune group including children participate in interaction / sharing meetings, feedback / evaluation meetings and decision making regarding daily work plan etc.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 30
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    Friends give us monthly contribution in cash or kind which helps to sustain us to a large extent. Some commune members contribute the whole / part of their income to the commune on a monthly basis. The commune runs a herbal shop that earns and support a part of the commune expenses. Apart from this, we separately raise funds for specific programs / events / activities.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: 100%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Outdoor Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Yes – we all share a common diet.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Buddhist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    All commune members use the public healthcare system viz., government run hospitals. Generally, we do go to private or corporate hospitals for medical treatment. In occasional cases, we have gone to mission hospitals.

  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan

Community Affiliations

None so far


Egalitarian, equity, equal opportunity, social justice, earthcare, people, liberation, struggle