2006


In 102 villages in Tamil Nadu where Irula people live ITWWS started working with the support of Action Aid during the post tsunami period by addressing immediate needs faced after tsunami. They are now working. They are deprived of social security, economic, educational, environmental, political and cultural rights. Their situation is worsened after tsunami.

EDUCATION: THE KEY TO THE FUTURE

“My father works as a wood cutting labour and mother Sumathi a house wife. My two younger sisters Indhu and Jaya are studying in 4th standard and Balwadi (pre-nursery) respectively". Kumaresan is by birth a physically challenged and look like a child at his 11th year also. He can’t walk and his mother carries him always while going out. Otherwise somebody needs to stay at home to take care of him. He is living in Irula area at Perungudi village. He says enthusiastically about his family.

We surprised when Kumaresan wrote his name. He narrated beautiful story about how he learnt to read and write without going to school. “ITWWS runs an evening learning centre in our village. They conduct classes for all school / non school going and pre-nursery children. My sister goes to this evening centre One day mother was away to work and sister stayed at home to take care of me. Her class teacher Ganesan came personally to our house when heard my sister didn't go to class because she has to look after me. He asked me why I am not going with her to the centre and learn. He sympathized with my Inability to walk and kind enough to carry me to the centre. I watched children reading and writing. Teacher asked me whether I am willing to read and write. Immediately I said yes. He holds my hand affectionately and made me learn writing by pencil. I am happily learning in the centre.

I am attending the class regularly Mother carries me dairy to the learning centre. I am also interested to team new things. Now I can read and write my name and alphabets. I was feeling depressed when not able to play with normal children and when they were not involving me with them. Our teacher insisted other children to play with me and taught equality among all of us. Mother plays with me. She is my best friend. I also play with sisters and friends in the evening centre. I feel happy to play throw up the ball and catch. ITWWS started a permanent learning centre and we participated in the inauguration on April 17th 2006in our village. They distributed the play and learning materials to all children in the center and I have also got” say confident Kurmaresan. ITWWS runs 30 centers in Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Villupuram and Cuddalore. 10 among them have been started functioning last year.

Raja a nine years old Irula boy is always enthusiastic to speak about his school. I am studying in 4th standard at Anumanthai Government School. I am going to school with my friend which is one kilometer from my house. On the way we pick mangoes from the trees and share among all out friends. I like my English teacher who helps me to learn English. My favorite subjects are Tamil and Mathematics.

Raja maintains cleanliness and also teaching younger brothers about hygiene. He attends school regularly. After school, he will have food and rush to Irula’s evening center. He says “Saritha teacher in Centre teaches us from learning materials and we enjoy it. She is friendly and I share my feeling with her. ITWWS provided school fees and distributed note book and play materials recently to all the children in our village. I enjoy playing cricket with my friends and this summer was full of joy for us”. ITWWS felt contented to see and hear the happiness of Irula’s.

Raja a young boy has developed so much after he participated in educational exposure trips with 340 tribal children organized by ITWWS which supported by Action Aid.

  • Visit to Vandalore Zoo and to Madras crocodile bank trust
  • Nursery maintained by ITWWS to observe tree planting, uses of herbal plants
  • Awareness trainings on their rights, education, health, lively woods
  • Playing games sports and participated in completions during summer camps.
With the intervention of ITWWS, about 975 Irula children’s are going to school and school going children rate has increase top 78%


RIGHT TO HOUSING:

Raja says “My village name is Anumanthai, which is surrounded by mango and cashew nut trees. We lost all house hold materials including our house in Tsunami. We were leaving under trees in small hut at the coastal line with no water electricity and other basic facilities. ITWWS constructing permanent houses with water and other facilities and all 38 families get shelter in out village. Our people are involved in the construction work and they got regular job. ITWWS ensure equal wages for all men and women and our people are happy now.

After over 1 year we are slowly recovering. ITWWS provided lively wood like Catanaram (Traditional Boat) and fishing nets and a dream house to all the families in our community in April. We were dreaming to own a safety house, but we never expected to happen so soon. I like my village now because of beautiful surroundings and I feel happy to watch the final stage of construction of my dream house. I can study now without worry. We are very happy and thanks to Action Aid and to your support”

ITWWS constructed about 400 permanent house and 50 temporary shelters.

“I am the eldest among four sons. Younger brother, Murugavel studies in 1st standard. Rajesh and Simbu are very small. My father Muthuvel is a Wood cutter and mother, Renuka works as daily wages labour in construction work and earning Rs. 75 per day. She always suffers from health problem. She could not consult doctor because her income is not sufficient to feed all of us and to spend on our studies. My father was an Alcoholic beating us daily. He spends money and time in Alcohol shop. He never gave money and also mental peace to us. I pleaded him many times not to drink. He did not allow me to go to school and insist to work and give him the money. But mother encouraging my studies”.

After attending awareness programs, trainings and medical camp conducted by ITWWS father reduced alcohol. Mother is relived from her hardship and become an active member of women’s associations. Thanks to ITWWS to encourage my studies and helped to reduce violence in my family. We are now at peace. Raja’s eyes filled with tears also his mothers. “I have a dream to become a sincere police officer and punish alcohol drunkards and stop sale of alcohol to bring happiness in all the families in my village”.

We were able to prevent problems due to alcohol consumption in 312 families.



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