of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is situated at Ambalamoola between Gudalur and Sultan’s
Battery, approximately equidistant from Ootacamund, Mysore and Calicut in an area
that was once subtropical rainforest on the borders of the Western Ghats. The Hill Tribe
clients are Paniya, Betta Kurumba, Kathu Naicka and Mulla Kurumba, officially classified
by the government as 'Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups'. It is funded partly from its own
The 17-acre farm, Government grants, donor agencies and private donations from well-wishers.
In 1978 a roadside dispensary and quarters were built at Ambalamoola on land
provided by the Tamil Nadu Government. There were no other facilities in the area.
There was many superstitions and reluctance to accept treatment by shy and timid people, but by hard work, persistence and treating Tribals with respect and in a way,
which fitted in with their needs and priorities, a good and lasting relationship of trust
was built up and the clinic soon became very popular. That trust in us still continues.
In 2000 a 12 bedded hospital was built with funds and practical help fromChantier Damien Belgium. This provided a much-needed facility and catered for up to
400 in-patients per year. In 2007 the TN Government provided a vehicle, funding and
medicines under the Tamil Nadu Health Services Project (TNHSP) to undertake daily
medical camps in remote villages. The team includes a doctor, nurse, lab technician and
driver. The funding also covers the cost of inpatients and has made a very big
contribution to alleviating the medical needs of poor and disadvantaged Tribal patients.
Over the years, disease patterns have changed. Initially, there was a pattern of
simple illnesses like scabies, anaemia, chest infections, dysentery, etc. which became a life
threatening because of long term neglect and reluctance to seek treatment. Nowadays,
this type of case is much less common, however, the diseases of “civilisation” are now
prevalent: Hypertension, stroke, diabetes etc.
There is now a greater willingness and the understanding by Tribal people
of the need to seek early treatment. More facilities including government Primary Health
Centres have come up on both sides of the border which can fulfil a great need,
depending on the doctor posted there. However, there are still a good number of
patients who fall through the net for various reasons, or simply prefer to come to us. Our
staff, many of them Tribal, speak the local languages and are sympathetic and
understanding of Tribal priorities and way of life.
TODAY: Our outpatient clinic sees about 650 patients per month. Current staff includes
a doctor, lab technician, health coordinator and 2 nurses, in addition to the mobile clinic
staff and health educators. We are a government recognised laboratory for Tb, HIV and
leprosy. (We previously identified and treated more than 800 cases of leprosies in the
1980's). Our hospital is the only free in-patient facility in Pandalur Taluk. We assist
the government in immunisation programmes, run eye camps and our children's health
education troupe visits villages and performs street theatre in the Tribal languages.
Our in-patient and Mobile clinic facilities are funded by the government under
Tamil Nadu Health Services Project (TNHSP). The outpatient facility is supported only by
funds and donations from any other sources. Hence this appeal.
Residential School for 100 Tribal girls and boys up to age 14 (8th std) under the Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan Programme (SSA), principally funded by Government.
Hostel for 50 Tribal girls and boys with home or other difficulties who would otherwise
drop out, who attend the local High School and continue their education from 8th std up
to 12th std. and beyond.
•Encouraging children in the villages to start and continue their schooling.
Monitoring of more than 900 children and follow up of recent dropouts from school.
•Obtaining documentation (Aadhar card, ration card, Community
certificate, pension etc) for families allowing them to benefit from government schemes