Economic Independence For Widows Of Irular Tribe of South India | Milaap
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Economic Independence For Widows Of Irular Tribe of South India

Five families squeezed into 10 square meters of space. Low walls made of mud with palm leaves forming a pointed roof, confine the living area.  Outside the hut, a used car tyre and a bast mat serve as a sitting area, while some steel cooking utensils and clothes are strewn around, finding no place within the confines of the mud wall. 18 people of third generation live here, without electricity.  The monsoons bring in their own challenges, making the hut uninhabitable for these families.
Now, the hut is the least of their problems.  They do not own the land they live on and nor do they have ID cards.  Their children cannot go to school and they can be expelled from this temporary shelter at any point in time. Welcome to a small settlement of the Irular.
 
As an indigenous tribe, Irular, spreads across countless villages in South India today. Originally forest dwellers, who live among nature, are considered as the lowest in the caste system.
 
The Tamil Nadu Forest Act, introduced in 1882, prohibits their life style, forcing them out of their familiar environment and to live as homeless wanderers, working as daily-wage labourers either on agricultural fields or in brick factories. Their meagre earnings help them to just about survive by allowing them to buy rice from the black market.
 
Widowed women or women with dependent families, turn to charity. As a single parent or as a single earning member of their families, these women are unable to provide sufficiently for their children and sometimes are forced to send them to beg. Though the government provides special development programmes for these indigenous tribes, bureaucracy buckles their progress, and discrimination does the rest.

The NGO Enlight Mission educates the Irular on their rights and supports them in their journey towards an independent and secure life. The staff members help the members of the Irular tribe with acquiring ID cards, ration cards and financial support for building houses and toilets. They help enrol the children into boarding schools or organize transport to help them visit the neighbouring village school. 
I have accompanied the social workers on their regular visits to the settlements several times. Now it's time for me to support the villagers.
 
How can we help?

 
In consultation with the villagers, we plan to buy five cows for five widows from five different villages, to become economically self-sufficient. This campaign has been created to support Amudha from the village of Thuraampoondi (see her photo below). She is going to bear the main resposibility for the cow, while being supported by the village community. 
With the sale of milk, single mothers can earn up to 90 € / 7000 INR a month, less the supply costs. Of their earnings, 12.50 € / 1000 INR is returned to us, to help them buy a new cow for a new family in need, after eight months.
 
A dairy cow costs 500 € / 40,000 INR. This is all it takes to help create a better future for a family, or even a whole village.
 
In the past, a few Irular families in the region around Gingee have received goats. The concept is based, not on charity, but on "help for selfhelp." This has proven to be very successful and effective.
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For further reading, click on the following pages:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/40-irula-families-in-villupuram-live-a-life-without-identity-pazhangudi-irular-paathukappu-sangam-olakkur-jagampettai/article29370073.ece

https://www.firstpost.com/india/adivasis-and-the-indian-state-tamil-nadus-irular-community-battles-govt-apathy-police-hostility-in-fight-for-identity-7336661.html

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Enlight-Mission-277337982937780/about/?ref=page_internal

https://gogetfunding.com/finanzielle-unabhangigkeit-fur-irular-witwen-in-sudindien/?lang=en
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Amudha from the village of Thuraampoondi
Amudha from the village of Thuraampoondi
Extreme poverty forces Irulas to make their children beg
Extreme poverty forces Irulas to make their children beg
Provide education for our children, begs Irula community from Gingee
Provide education for our children, begs Irula community from Gingee
Life without identity
Life without identity

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31st March 2020
Dear supporters!

The campaign concerning the economic independence for women of the Irular tribe has finally reached its goal: For a few weeks now, Panjalai, Malar, Malliga, Vijaya und Eswari, five women from the Sirukadambur village in Tamil Nadu, are proud owners of milking cows. Thanks to your donations!

Albert, head of the NGO Enlight Mission, has carefully chosen the five responsible women after a number of meetings and discussions with the village community. Panjalai, who’s husband has passed away, is giving care to her only child. The two mothers Malar and Malliga have two kids each to support on their own, while Malar’s husband Shankar suffers from tuberculosis and Malliga’s husband has abandoned her to live with another woman.

 Vijaya and Eswari are also both married and live with their husbands and two children each in one of the typical one-room huts that form the Irular village. (PFA more photos of the women with their cows.)
Each woman can count on the support of an eleven-member-strong group of villagers.

 The team will help them with animal care and milk sale if required, to ensure animal welfare and the daily income. Everyday the women sell their milk to the co-operative milk producers' federation AAVIN. On average they earn 250 INR (3 €) a day.

To administer the money, the Enlight Mission has opened a bank account for each group. The accumulated savings function as a financial support for possibly each group member:

When economic help is required, the whole team has to agree on the expense. One seventh of the income gets paid back to the Enlight Mission every month. Therefore, presumably after eight months, a new milking cow will be affordable for another family in need.

In total, the Enlight Mission has collected 164,855 INR (1964 €) (after deduction of fees for the online campaigns and the foreign transfer) from your donations. On the local cattle market, each milking cow costs 30,000 INR (355 €), thus in total 150,000 INR (1775 €). Another 18,300 INR (220 €) was spent on insurances, feed, medicine and transportation to the village.

The Irular, a South Indian tribal community, live below the poverty line and suffer structural social discrimination. Being a part of the marginalized society, they work mostly as day labourers in brick factories, on agricultural fields or on construction sites. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, their already instable income opportunities are now being further threatened.

The possibility of selling milk as a steady earning is coming at precisely the right point in time.

The village community of Sirukadambur, Albert from the Enlight Mission and myself would like to sincerely thank you for your generosity and support!

Appreciatively yours,
Hanna
Dear supporters!

The campaign concerning the economic independence for women of the Irular tribe has finally reached its goal: For a few weeks now, Panjalai, Malar, Malliga, Vijaya und Eswari, five women from the Sirukadambur village in Tamil Nadu, are proud owners of milking cows. Thanks to your donations!

Albert, head of the NGO Enlight Mission, has carefully chosen the five responsible women after a number of meetings and discussions with the village community. Panjalai, who’s husband has passed away, is giving care to her only child. The two mothers Malar and Malliga have two kids each to support on their own, while Malar’s husband Shankar suffers from tuberculosis and Malliga’s husband has abandoned her to live with another woman.

 Vijaya and Eswari are also both married and live with their husbands and two children each in one of the typical one-room huts that form the Irular village. (PFA more photos of the women with their cows.)
Each woman can count on the support of an eleven-member-strong group of villagers.

 The team will help them with animal care and milk sale if required, to ensure animal welfare and the daily income. Everyday the women sell their milk to the co-operative milk producers' federation AAVIN. On average they earn 250 INR (3 €) a day.

To administer the money, the Enlight Mission has opened a bank account for each group. The accumulated savings function as a financial support for possibly each group member:

When economic help is required, the whole team has to agree on the expense. One seventh of the income gets paid back to the Enlight Mission every month. Therefore, presumably after eight months, a new milking cow will be affordable for another family in need.

In total, the Enlight Mission has collected 164,855 INR (1964 €) (after deduction of fees for the online campaigns and the foreign transfer) from your donations. On the local cattle market, each milking cow costs 30,000 INR (355 €), thus in total 150,000 INR (1775 €). Another 18,300 INR (220 €) was spent on insurances, feed, medicine and transportation to the village.

The Irular, a South Indian tribal community, live below the poverty line and suffer structural social discrimination. Being a part of the marginalized society, they work mostly as day labourers in brick factories, on agricultural fields or on construction sites. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, their already instable income opportunities are now being further threatened.

The possibility of selling milk as a steady earning is coming at precisely the right point in time.

The village community of Sirukadambur, Albert from the Enlight Mission and myself would like to sincerely thank you for your generosity and support!

Appreciatively yours,
Hanna
28th November 2019
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your love. The funds are now being sent, so that the villagers finally receive their milking cows! 
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your love. The funds are now being sent, so that the villagers finally receive their milking cows! 
Rs.7,700 raised

Goal: Rs.40,000

Beneficiary: Hanna Mathias info_outline
Only INR donations accepted

Fundraising campaigns (2)

Supporters (7)

SV
SARVESHWARA V donated Rs.200
RR
Ranjith donated Rs.2,000
SV
SAJIT VUAYAKUMAR donated Rs.1,000
RR
Rahul donated Rs.2,000
GK
Gayathri donated Rs.1,000
GK
Gayathri donated Rs.1,000