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The ANAWIM TRUST

Address: 1/73P, Medona Street,
Veerapandian Pattinam
Tiruchendur Taluk,
Tuticorin District
Tamil Nadu - 628 216, India.
Tel: 04639-45122

Email: anawim@vsnl.com

The Anawim Trust works among Dalit communities in Tiruchendur Taluk, Tuticorin District, on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu. Mr.J.M.K. Sekhar was the the Founder of Anawim. It was established in 1993 to work for the rural
Women of the Palm Leaf Unit at the Production Centre of Anawim. At the Centre, activities include handicrafts, printing, and making herbal oils and soaps.
communities facing marginalization in Tiruchendur Taluk. Dalits are original inhabitants of India who have cared responsibly for their villages, handing down their traditional wisdom to their future generations to help them have access to resources and benefits that they now enjoy. Anawim helps empower them to exercise their rights, to increase their access to natural resources, and to gain greater control over their lives, livelihoods, and environment.


Products of the Palm Leaf Unit

The project works through three major programs to empower rural poor people.

  1. Women's groups
  2. Children's supplementary education and
  3. Care and development of environment resources.

Women

Anawim has organized 80 SHG's in 60 villages in Tiruchendur Taluk in the past ten years. Various skills-development training had been given to the women to do income generation activities. Anawim provides seed money for these activities in the form of small loans in the amount of Rs.2000/- or Rs.5000/- to each member, which are repayable in 20 instalments. The various income generation activities they do are goat rearing, fish vending, vegetable vending, petty shops, milch animal rearing, thatch making, basket making etc. The income generation activities have brought the women greater self-esteem and self-confidence. They have internal credit and savings and also bank linkages.

Products of the Soap Unit.


Children

The literacy rate in this area is 30% for women and 50% for men. Most of the children are first- generation learners, and they have some difficulty in keeping up with the educational levels in schools. Anawim has set up Supplementary education centers in 30 of the 60 villages. In addition to reviewing the lessons from the day school, these evening schools also offer alternative education, values education and training in productive activities such as book binding, ink making, etc. The students also learn about computers, taking turns on those computers that are carried to the different villages by the Anawim staff.
The paper cutting unit.

Each center has a children's committee, which manages the center by means of a small savings account for purchase of necessary things. There are also parents committee that supports the activities of each center by buying books and making other contributions. The children organize cultural presentations in which they share social development ideas. The children who were getting lower marks have improved and become rank holders. They have also developed multi-skills, paving the way for an appropriate choice of vocation in future. Children have their eco-clubs, which look after the clean and green of their villages. They conduct cleaning camps to maintain the clean and green of their village and also plant trees wherever necessary.

Tailoring Unit within Anawim
Environment

As this is a coastal area, it has sparse vegetation. The annual rainfall is a low 400mm and most of it runs off into the sea. Anawim uses eco-technology to improve the situation. Ferro-cement tanks have been built to harvest rainwater in public places such as temples and schools. Six rainwater Harvesting Tanks of 10,000-litre capacity has been built so far in villages and schools. The water thus saved is used during the summer. There are also wells and tanks de-silted and cleaned by Anawim with labour from the villages. Women and children of Anawim groups have enthusiastically planted saplings in all villages. They have set out kitchen gardens and are growing herbal plants.

The women and children have been given awareness in conservation, management, and harvesting of rainwater.

Anawim also provides training for its staff in health, communications, cultural education, computer, children rights, and human rights.


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