Milestone
 
 
  Milestone  
 

Since 1982, Kalvi Kendra has been abreast of many development programmes for its people in concern to change their lives from misery to glory. 

1. Peace & Harmony (The Villupuram Housing Project)
In the year 1978, a communal clash against Dalits people took place in a big slum in Villupuram town. 12 Dalits were massacred; as many as 150 houses were completely burnt. The following are some of the rehabilitative measures being taken during the period 1979-1984 for the victims of communal violence.

  • A need assessment survey of the situation was undertaken for taking up appropriate strategies and activities for evolving rehabilitation works.
  • 150 houses were reconstructed and renovated and 2.5 acres of land was bought adjacent to their habitation where 100 new houses were constructed for cobbler families who were previously living in a pathetic situation.
  • In a meeting organised after the communal friction, the people placed importance to the additional coaching needed for their school-going-children. In response to such need, coaching classes were organised in the evening to the benefit of 300 children.
  • Sangam (“Self Help Groups”) for women were organised and an Executive Committee was elected by the members to carry on various activities.
  • Vocational training was carried on in tailoring, printing and binding, textile printing and cooperative shoe-making.

2. The Non-Formal and Adult Education Programme 
During the period 1985 to 1986, the Central Government of India came up with National Adult Literacy Policy. By making use of this opportunity, 20 most-backward villages in Kanai Block were covered under the non-formal and adult literacy programme. 30 literacy centres were started wherein as many as 252 Dalit non-literates were trained to be functionally literate.

3. The Cluster School Movement (CSM)
CSM was a movement for the deprived people to acquire power and bring about a social change in the existing social structure through formal, non-formal and informal learning. Education was tailor-made to suit the conditions of the local people. It took place at all levels in the cluster of the villages, families, market places, shops... 
The Dalits got organised in an experimental project area covering a cluster of 10 villages in Vikravandi Block and became a movement. Some of the activities undertaken were the formation of mother-teacher association and training, the construction of multi-purpose community centres, savings and credit programmes for women, income-generating-activities…

4. The Resource Centre for Education and Development
In the nineties, a Resource Centre for nurturing and supporting the aspirations of different people’s organisations was started:

  • To provide needed materials relevant to the activities of the social action groups
  • To offer systematic training to activists (social activists, NGOs and community leaders)
  • To give intellectual inputs and new insights to the leader of the people’s organisations, especially at the grass-root level

Thus Kalvi Kendra played a significant role in shaping the people’s leaders in the region.

5. The student’s education and leadership camps

For a period of 6 years, from 1987 to 1992, each year, 60 poor students of both sex studying in Vikravandi Block were provided with a rare opportunity of cherishing education and leadership camp. It was a fully residential programme in which cultural events, skill competitions such as drawing, dancing, poetry writing and social awareness rally formed part of the curriculum along with coaching in academic subjects.

6. The “Development of Women” Programme
In 1989, the Government of Tamil Nadu through its Corporation for Development of Women Ltd. came out with a Development of Women Programme under the assistance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Kalvi Kendra was chosen by the Tamil Nadu Government to initiate and strengthen 100 women Sangams (“self help groups”) for the rural poor women hailing from 50 Panchayats of Vikravandi Block.

The principle objective of Development of Women Programme was to raise the socio-economic status of the poor women. This could be achieved by way of continuous awareness building and forming strong and cohesive self help groups. 

Social development was achieved by way of building awareness on social aspects and imparting management skills. Economic development was achieved by way of training them on areas of entrepreneurship, and also linking the women self help groups with Nationalised Banks for obtaining loan with subsidy and with line departments such as agriculture, sericulture, village and small business and animal husbandry for equipping themselves to undertake economic development activities of their choice. 
 

7. The Skill Development Programme
In association with the Rural Development Department (Government of Tamil Nadu), Kalvi Kendra undertook three skill formation training courses during the year 1995 to the benefit of the marginalised poor: training in seashell products, textile printing and training on paper mache toys. Apart from these three training courses, Kalvi Kendra also organised a Computer Training Programme and initiated a Rehabilitation Programme for Scavengers.

8. Health Promotion
During the year 1996-1997, a 15-days duration residential training was organised to train 210 Rural Health Workers on Community Health. The topics covered during the training include definition of health, service delivery available in primary health centre, concept of sexuality, gender issues, reproductive systems, HIV/AIDS issues and so on. The sessions were handled by government and private medical officers and trained health professionals. 

Also, in the year 1997, Kalvi Kendra organised 4 cluster-level one-day medical camps to the benefits of 20 most-backward villages in Vikravandi Block. As many as 3,500 people benefited from this medical camp, of them, 85% are women and children. They were attended on the spot and the follow-up treatment was linked up with the area primary health centre.


9. The French Students Exposure Programme 
Since 1994, many groups of French students were provided with the opportunities for involving them in the developmental activities and also learning the rural Indian culture. One of the significant contributions made by these students in the past 10 years was the construction of Kalvi Kendra training centre.

10. Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation Programme
One day after the Tsunami disaster, Kalvi Kendra started a programme to give direct support to 6 villages affected by the wave, which were part of its working area. 
These 6 villages belong to Villupuram District.
There was a need to reintroduce a structure in the villages and in the communities. Therefore, Kalvi Kendra had undertaken first aid and developmental activities in these 6 coastal villages. The 5 areas focused were the following.

  • Psycho-social well-being: Kalvi Kendra conducted cultural programmes, sport (chess, dance and sport competitions) and recreation activities to the mentally affected population  due to  this disaster.… 
  • Livelihood restoration: Kalvi Kendra worked on relief by giving and repairing boats, by improving fishing equipment, by offering clothes... and proposed other actions such as cash / food  for work, the construction of green belt and shelter belt, rice credit line, working capital for fish vending, solar dryer... New SHGs had also been initiated in these 6 villages and revolving funds with subsidy had been given. Training for economic assistance and technical skill training for alternative work were given.
  • Children's education: Regularly meetings were organised with the parents to motivated them on the issue of their children’s education. Free evening tuition classes are animated by and special education camp took place in summer for the final-year students for a period of 15 days...
  • Prepareness for the future: In a future-oriented perspective, Kalvi Kendra motivates the population through awareness campaigns to take fishing safety measures (life jackets, GPS, on-board lighting), to make savings, to subscribe to life insurance and insurance on their devices.
  • Lobbying and advocacy: Kalvi Kendra guided the SHG members on how to speak with the government officials in order to benefit from the government schemes.

11. Immediate Relief for Thane Cyclone affected Communities
Kalvi Kendra had carried out thane cyclone relief activities in 35 communities of 9 panchayats at Kandamangalam block in Villupuram Dist which were devastated by Goast  Cyclone in the end of December, 2011. Thounsands of houses were blew away, Crops in thousands of hectares Damaged. Millions worths of assets, livestocks & trees were damaged. People suffered without drinking water as there were no electricity connections for months together.  

Hence the following of the immediate relief carried out by Kalvi Kendra:

  • Clearing debris, trashes, garbages, road blocks and restoration the village services had been done in 35 communities by way of collecting youth, women. work camps were organizedfor an average of 200 persons in each community.
  • 4011 Tarpaulin had been distributed  in all  35 communities for  those whose thatched and tiled houses have been damaged.
  • Medical assitance had been provided to  injured persons according to their health condition.
  •  4297 poor families were given food pockets as they were not able to get food immediately.
  •  3000 bedsheets had been distributed to the elderely & differently abled people in 35 communities.
  • Drinking water had been supplied in all 35 communities by mobilizing youth and with the help of hired generator.
  • The electricity department  in collaboration with our trained rescue team with the village youth were able to set up the fallen electric poles to restore electricity.
  • Twenty Volunteers from Kalvikendra went to Elders for Elders foundation for assessing thane cyclone damages in Cuddalore District.
  • Rescue centres were utilised to accommodate around 5,000 people at the time of thane cyclone.