Being extremely shy and easily scared, there is an obvious need of social development. Through their social work, a lot of progress has been made through petitions to have the certificate for the Irulas, and to grant them a land where they will be able to live. But there is still so much to do. That is why they ask your help.
The Irulas are widely spread in different states of the south of India, and exists in multiple places. The Irulas of the Tamil Nadu state, living now on the plains near villages, are the one that we help by making them able to know their own rights and to apply them to the government. When they were living in the forests, they used to sell products like honey, with which they made wax, firewood and other forest’s products. In return, they got village products for their use. They obtained their food mainly from the forest and the wild animals living in it.
The main problems of this tribes are:
Life facilities: houses made out of mud; destroyed by the monsoon after 3 months of build; limited access to water, electricity and education
Jobs: not skilled to do any kind of job; some of them are not paid with money, but only with products Education: girls are not allowed to go to schools; boys do, but they can’t expect the support or of their parents. They are not given the schedule tribe certificate that may help them to study. The consequence is that even if they manage to go through the exams, they don’t get any certificates
Social neglect: there are even lower than the lowest cast, even than the “untouchable“. They are cheated, abused and neglected by people and the government. Irula’s are cut off from the society and don’t even know the benefits that they are eligible to receive as a tribe in India. For the owners, they would be losing extremely cheap ploughmen to use
Lands certificates: they don’t even have a land certificate for the place the stay in
Tribes certificates: being extremely shy and scared of outside world, they are unable to draw any benefits that may be forthcoming to them from the government
Psychological conditions: the fear of the outside world makes them to continue their livelihood
Enlight Mission support The Irula's in variety of everyday-live problems, focusing on 3 main priorities of activity
- Cast certificates confirming Irula Tribemembership : 3000 certificates given to Irula people
- Land grants confirmations (Pata) : 700 lands grants are being processed
- Sheme cards: e.g. insurance or health benefits for Irulas
Our Mission leads few social programs supporting different areas of local communities lives:
- The Irula Tribal Community Development Center
- Bala (Infant) – children development & education support
- Kalvi Mani (Bell) – higher education Support
- Sirumala (Little Flower) – women development, awareness increase & legal support to widows; one of the most important aspects of this program is to give women the knowledge of tailoring, we provide machines and teachers so they can learn and practice in our center and then start their own business.
- The Rakhi Community College welcomes tailoring courses for women every day since April 2016 in Alampoondi. For that, Enlight Mission provides few sewing machines with the help of the Rakhi Foundation. Each day, you can see a group of women learning how to sew !
- All these women are learning thanks to Fatima who once was a Community college teacher. Today she has taught tailoring to nearly 100 students with Enlight Mission since the tailoring program started. Actually, nearly 45 students follow the tailoring program, which last between 6 months and one year for each women. When it started, they were only 4 students…
- Moreover, Dominique intervenes sometimes to learn embroidery to the students.
- For instance, women can make blouses, shirts, skirts, napkins… And they can keep them for themselves, offer them to their family, or even sell them. Indeed, after studying for a year they can make professional clothes and even get hired in a little factory !
- Women of all ages can come. It provides them skills to be able to earn their own money and be less dependent of their husband. Moreover it provides them an activity out of their home.
- But the benefits don’t stop there ! When the women finish their day at the Rakhi Community College, they can rent one of the sewing machines to teach to others at home. Therefore, the skills are spread among women.
- This is one of the way the Enlight Mission choose to contribute to women empowerment.
- The next step in this program evolution is to provide enough place and material so the women can take care of their children while following the courses. Indeed, the Enlight Mission thinks it will motivate more women to join the community.
- Moreover they are still administration papers to complete in order to have the status of a Community College.