Elango was the President of the Panchayat of Kuthambakkam, a village near Chennai for 9 years. Till few years ago, the village was fraught with poverty and lacked basic infrastructure. Violence against lower castes and women was rampant, had 35% of its population was involved in illicit liquor brewing. Today, the village has been transformed and has good basic infrastructure in place. The villagers are now busy building an environment-friendly local economy based on a cooperative model, producing their basic necessities (like food and clothing) within their own village. Inspired by Gandhi, he has successfully implemented his vision of true “Gram Swaraj”, a self-sufficient village.