People who are born in poor, marginalized communities have less access to healthcare, quality education, good housing, and employment than those in privileged households.
The poverty rate in some parts of India has significantly reduced due to governmental support. However, factors including natural disasters, heavy dependence on agriculture and high birth rates have contributed to the continued poverty in rural villages that affects around 300 million people.
While many villages throughout India lack basic needs, there are a few villages where the deprivation exists in a deeper concentration. Aid India initiated village development protocols to respond to the needs of the marginalized, poor people in villages.
Analysing the Symptoms of Poverty
People in villages who are born into poverty are three times more likely to remain poor in their adult life than those who were never poor. This vicious cycle reduces their chances of breaking free from the poverty trap.
In the Irular, Narikoravar and tribal settlements of South India, these issues are complex and inter-connected. Low enrolment in schools, the high drop-out rate in primary levels, low literacy rates, poor nutrition and health and so on was rampant in villages.
Many have moved away from their traditional livelihoods, which are no longer viable. Several cultural and social barriers need to be overcome to make a difference in their lives.
When the problems are interconnected, so should the solutions. Aid India works in these most backward villages, intending to improve the quality of life, mainly for women and children. We instigated village development efforts, starting with analyzing the priorities of people living in poverty.
Helping Marginalized People Find Their Voice
Why were people going hungry? Why was medicine not readily available, but more expensive for them? What is the reason for high dropout rates? Injustice was at the root of every answer.
AID India's approach to village development is holistic. Leading them with campaigns in agriculture, health, education, community empowerment, relief and rehabilitation is essential to their upliftment. Additionally, they could be encouraged to obtain services by right and have a voice in their own development.
Through this approach, the poor and oppressed people are not passive beneficiaries of the village development services. They are active agents of change who work in collaboration with Aid India volunteers.
Empowering the Masses with a Multi-pronged Approach
AID India believes that an independent intervention in education alone is not adequate to make a lasting impact on the people and their lives.
Given that the issues are inter-connected, a multi-pronged approach, which integrates solutions to the key issues like education and health becomes important. Their holistic approach to bringing out change involved constructive and creative work through projects, and campaign efforts against corruption.
AID India initiated the integrated tribal development program as a long-term commitment to bring about significant change in tribal villages over the next 5 years. Every person is entitled to live a dignified life with the opportunity to earn a fair living wage and sustain equitable development. To begin with, we are working on education and health awareness interventions in about 30 villages across 5 blocks of Tamil Nadu.
The AID India interventions include:
- Running Eureka after-school center in the villages.
- English intervention for spoken and reading skills and to build children’s confidence.
- Setting up a 'Learning Lab' or a tinkering lab, which will provide a non-traditional approach to learning. This component will be specific to each village. Children will be encouraged to work on local issues.
- Introducing workshops on cycle repair, use of cell phones, use of computers, robotics etc.
- Indigenous practices and traditional skills that are soon disappearing will be taught in workshops and get children to document the same.
- Children will do projects to document local knowledge like home remedies using herbs for which these communities are known for.
- Nutrition interventions to improve their health and energy levels. Health camps and awareness programs for adolescent girls.
- Identifying the most vulnerable like old couples and single women to build homes for them.
The integrated village development program is a long-term effort, and it may take several years to make small improvements in the lives of these families. We know that we are in it for the long haul. However, when the changes come, and we are confident they will, we believe that they will make a significant difference to the quality of life for these families.
A Call for Action
Join the support to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity for a bright future without discriminatory barriers. Your donation will be a key component that allows us to branch out and pool resources for the development programs.
Help us make a significant impact when it comes to village development. By sponsoring our efforts to set up a village education center, dry rations, toys, or solar lamps for tribal villages, you too can rise to the fight against the injustices that marginalized people from rural areas face.
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