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Community Projects

Institute of Peoples’ Education - Jan Shikshan Sansthan

- The Idukki & Sivakasi Initiative
(Sponsored by the Government of India)

The M.A. Math runs this job-training programme in Idukki, Kerala and in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. Launched by the Government of India, JSS serves the poorest communities, offering them a range of more than 100 courses in occupations varying from candlemaking to computer science. The M.A. Math also encourages JSS beneficiaries to participate in their communities and offer selfless service.

A literacy project, Aksharadanam, encourages JSS beneficiaries to teach other members of their community how to read and write. Aksharadanam’s slogan is: “Each One Teach One.” Through Jeevanam, “Helpline for Healthy Living,” a suicide-prevention programme, JSS beneficiares volunteer to battle Kerala’s rising suicide rate as well as drug abuse. A force of “pedestrian counsellors” go door to door in their own villages, speaking to at-risk people. JSS provides these counsellors with the necessary support and training. Through Amritam, “Helpline for Self-Reliance,” JSS fosters incomegenerating, self-help groups in deprived communities, and especially in tribal villages. The idea is to provide the communities with the knowledge, skills and tools to become self-sufficient.

Amrita Development Activities

- Kerala and Tamil Nadu

The M.A. Math is stimulating employment and encouraging interest in environmental protection in rural villages. It has established three medicinal plant reserves, a high-density farming project to produce banana and tuber crops, as well as a horticulture nursery to stimulate interest in home-gardening. Along these lines, the Math has also established eight satellite-aided Village Resource Centres in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In 2006, the Math began helping villagers in Kollam District to form Self Help Groups (SHGs). Three hundred such groups have been formed thus far. Local leaders and community groups establish appropriate micro-businesses based on village trades.

One of the main aims of the SHGs is to empower with women through self-employment. Organic banana production has begun in five villages, providing work for 100 families, and the first homestead organic-vegetable-gardening projects began with the distribution of seeds to 5,000 families in Kollam.

Amrita Sree

- Amrita Self-Reliance Employment & Empowerment Programme

This project is successfully promoting self-reliance among unemployed and deprived people. Amma’s volunteers help those in need to start up their own small-scale businesses. The beneficiaries are given support to make quality household products and culinary items and to sell them door to door. Amma’s volunteers throughout India are being encouraged to take up similar initiatives to help the poor in their neighbourhoods.

Community Projects