VASANTHAM HOME, VELLAMADAM

We work with Kattunayaker tribe which is a nomadic ethnic group (around 400families living in 12 settlements) living in a few scattered villages in Kanyakumari district. One such group lives near Vellamadam, a village situated in Thovalai Taluk about 5 k m. away from Nagercoil, the capital of Kanyakummi district.

Kanyakumari district is situated on the southernmost end of Indian sub continent and it is also the confluence point of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Thovalai, one of the four Taluks, happens to be the most backward and underdeveloped area for several reasons.

PParents, who are illiterates for generations together, are not aware of the importance of education and consider it a waste of time and unproductive to educate their children. Illiteracy is rampant among the gypsy children; 80% children are drop outs from the school. In an attempt to bring these socially alienated nomadic group into the main stream of the society, Vasantham home was started in 1999. So far we have given intellectual and social formation through formal education for nearly 200 – 300 children.

Vasantham preparatory home is different from the regular orphanage or children’s home. They are not orphans and they have an affectionate family circle. But they are socially, economically estranged from the main stream of the society. So, Vasantham preparatory home is not only concentrating on their education but also mainly on undoing and reforming social habits and motivates them to learn and move into better social status( having self respect and self reliance) and be recognized by the main stream of the society. We give them vocational training in their spare time and week ends. We hope to equip them for greater job opportunities and self employment by the time they finish their schooling.

We concentrate on gathering the women in the surrounding area and promote their awareness about the importance of our mission with the nomadic children. There are 25 self reliant self help groups who take active interest in these children and help them in various ways. The children are thus exposed to women of other social status and culture, motivating them to accept changes and integrate with the main stream of the society.

The following programs are executed with the help of Holy Childhood, Province and local donors in kind and money.

  • Maintenance of the 50 inmates of the hostel
  • Formal Education of 50 children
  • Tailoring, Computer education, Counselling, Exposure, Picnic
  • Celebrations and Competitions
  • Self Help Group Formation, Motivation, Awareness and Leadership Training
  • Income generating trades
  • Diagnostic Services.

OUR IMMEDIATE CONCERNS

  • We have a building for the home that covers 2000 square feet, constructed with the money given by Manos Unidas Spain in 2003. An additional Block with 3000 square feet is required as the Government Registrar office demands at least 5000 square feet exclusively for the use of the hostel, according to the Juvenile Justice Act for the care and protection of children.

Join us in our effort to empower the marginalised nomadic group of children by donating for the maintenance of the children.

ACTIVITIES

  • World Peace Day on September 2014 was organized with an Inter religious prayer.
  • International Rural Women’s day was organized on October 2014 and competitions were conducted for women.
  • Pongal Celebration was held on 15th of January 2015 in our centre. 100 women and children participated and prepared pongal. Fr.Christopher blessed the pongal and gave a speech.
  • International Women’s day was organized on March 8th 2015 with a rally and a public gathering. 300 women participated. Women shared their success in being a member of our Self Help Groups and gave cultural programmes.
  • Children’s day was celebrated on November 2014.
  • Children’s day was celebrated on November 2014.
  • Children’s picnic to Manapadu and Uvari.
  • Skill training to Vasantham Home children and Women.
  • Solar Street light to Kattunayakkar families in Thirumalaipuram colony.
  • Distributing Tharpai to homeless Kattunayakkar families.

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