Women and children of rural poor families of Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu. Our main focus is on child laborers, widows, young girls, and disabled and old-aged people.
1. Evening schools for rural children:
ISSI promotes educational development of rural children through providing supplementary education. Six evenings a week, in three villages, children, aged 6 to 14, have the opportunity to expand their minds. A teacher prepares and teaches lessons on subjects such as Tamil, English, Science, and Math. The children can also receive help on their homework assignments. (Location: Pudukottai district).
2. Vocational training for adolescent girls and youth:
The socio-economic condition of rural women is being uplifted through ISSI’s ongoing vocational training project aimed at providing and improving vocational skills. The project empowers women by giving them the necessary skills and knowledge for both getting into the workforce and allowing them to generate income for their families. In addition to training on the vocational skill, marketing and entrepreneurial guidance and production unit startup assistance is provided. Participants in our programs have been able to secure wage-employment or become self-employed. The vocations trained through this program shift along with the changing demands of the local micro-economy. Past vocational skills trained in our program include sewing, vermi-composting, nursery raising, and artificial diamond polishing. Although the project is implemented with limited local resources, this project is held for 50-60 women per year. The project training includes both the practical and theoretical training for 3 to 6 months. (Location: Pudukottai and Nagapattinam district).
Training and production of coir rope
3. Environmental education for children:
The environmental education for school children project implements multiple activities to impart education about, awareness of, and concern for the environment among school children. Environmental issues brought up in this project include conservation, natural resources, erosion, proper management of wastes, and sanitation and toilets (to discourage open-air defecation). Our education techniques utilize discussion, puppet shows, and audio visual aids. Additionally, experiential learning takes place when the children participate in tree planting, school ground beautification, and vermi-composting and compost making activities. The project also motivates the continuation of environmental concern in their schools through motivating green-clubs and providing training to their teachers. The project takes place during an eco-camp in 20 schools where about 400 children participate. (Location: Pudukottai district).
Children learning vermicompost making Children in the eco-camp
4. Plant-based eating education (Meat Out):
The plant-based eating education project is rooted in ISSI’s concern with societal health conditions. Additionally, ISSI recognizes that plant based eating is a more efficient way for South Indians to get adequate nutrition in a growing population. Education is given on topics such as the health benefits of vegetables, the genetic engineering of animals, and the dangers of meat consumption. These programs are held several times a year, targeting rural communities within their villages. The programs educate through discussion, audio visual aids, vegetable cooking demonstrations, and recreation such as a drawing and coloring contest for children in which they draw and color animals and plants and include a vegetarian message. Programs are run with the collaboration of other organizations such as New Life India and SCORD. The Sabina Fund of FARM USA funds the project. (Location: Tamil Nadu).
World Farm Animals Day event - singing and dancing.Drawing competition on World Farm Animals Day
5. Widows empowerment program:
We organized 40 widows groups were formed in the villages of tsunami affected area of Nagapattinam district. Each group consist of five members. They lost their husband by tsunami. So, no male income for their families.So,they They were unable to get financial assistance for the business. decided to start fish vending and dry fish vending for their family income \ The money lenders asked more than 10% of interest which is very high. They are already suffering due to tsunami.Hence,we have discussed and supported 60 widows financially to start their business.
The widows are socially neglected and discriminated from their society. So, we are organizing social- legal
awareness training for them to understand their problems and help them for collective action to chieve their
Socio-legal awareness for widows Micro business for widows
6. Educational support for urban children:80 orphans and 360 children of single parents of tsunami affected villages are getting educational support activity. Every year, we are distributing Educational material and cloth for the children and organizing sports/games and entertainment activites through evening education centers. Distribution of study materials
7. Relief and rehabilitation activities:
From the 27th of December, 2004 onward, ISSI carried out rescue and relief activities in the affected area with the help of local individuals and other NGOs. Immediate relief action taken included the burial or burning of bodies, assembly and distribution of aid supply packages (including kerosene stoves, blankets, clothing, cooking vessels, and educational materials, among other things), and a continual grassroots assessment of the needs of the affected people. Currently, ISSI opened a project office among the affected people to implement long-term, rehabilitation projects. (Location: Nagapattinam district).
Water and sanitation
Bio sand water filter making unit
BioSand Water Filters are point-of-use water treatment systems. They are an adaptation of traditional slow sand filters, which have been used for over 200 years. BioSand Filters stand 40 inches tall, and 12 inches wide on each side. The Filter container is made of concrete and filled with layers of specially selected and washed sand and gravel. BioSand Filters remove pathogens and suspended solids from contaminated water using biological and mechanical processes that take place on the surface of and in the sand column. Thus this is very eco-friendly, simple and widely affordable system. The major advantage of this filter is it doesn’t require electricity or any chemicals for purification Our team attended the workshop on bio sand filter making organised FWF- USA.We have started bio sand water filter unit in our campus. It is a social enterprise activity of ISSI. The purpose of the unit is to to make the filters to supply to schools, orphanages with free of cost and market the filters with nominal cost to low income families.