TEAM VISION CHILDREN’S HOME

 

 

“Tribal Education and Medicare Vision” (TEAM Vision) is a Christian Charity which was started in 1995 and was registered under   the  Government  of  Tamil Nadu  Charitable Trust Registration Act   (No: 154/96 of Bk 4). The  principal goal of this organization as laid down at the outset is to “provide assistance for basic food, education and primary medical care for the poorest of the poor, the deprived and neglected people who live in remote, unreached villages and in deep jungles”.

 

REMOTE VILLAGES AROUND KODAIKANAL

 

There are about 40 villages around Kodaikanal. The inhabitants of these villages are illiterates and underprivileged. Many programmes of the Government do not enter into these villages because they are  far away from the roads and are unreachable. Ignorance, poverty and illiteracy of these people add to this problem. When the TEAM Vision saw the struggle of these underprivileged  sections of the society  around Kodaikanal, a “vision to transform” came in the minds of its members to uplift the condition of these neglected sections of the society. The vision is implemented gradually through various programmes.

 

There are no good schools in these villages. Even if a small school is there in a village, the children have to walk for two to four hours a day to reach these schools. Health care facility is almost nil in these villages. About 45,000 people living in these villages.

 

In the beginning TEAM Vision has selected three remote villages namely Moongilpallam, Kombaikadu and Kadamanrevu, where the initial fade of work was done over few years where a trusting relationship was established with the Tribal people. The most inaccessible of these villages is Moongilpallam, situated in a valley that is 1450 metres (approximately 5000 feet) deep and four hours’ walking distance from Mannamanur, the nearest village approachable by road. It is a perilous route in between Mannamanur and Moongilpallam. One has to cross mountain cliffs, slippery rocks, streams etc., to reach Moongilpallam. The inhabitants are Muduvans and Palliyas. There are 24 families living there. They originally lived in caves. They were said to have been migrated from Manjambatty 200 years ago because of the fear of herds of wild elephants.

 

These visits were at regular monthly intervals. On these visits, free medical assistance was provided(medical consultation, oral and parenteral medicines). At first, there was considerable resistance and distrust on the part of the villagers. Over a period of many months and after numerous discussions with the adults in the village, these barriers were broken down. The importance of personal hygiene and literacy was emphasised. Basic arithmetic and letters of the Tamil alphabet were taught. Food was supplied when available to supplement their inadequate diet. Old clothes were collected from friends and distributed to the villagers once in six months. In 1998, a small kindergarten school was started in the village and children both small and older, attended the school. TEAM Vision paid the salary of a locally trained teacher.

 

 

        

         (Tribal boys in the jungle)                                          (Tribal lady on the plucking fruits)

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF REMOTE VILLAGERS

 

These people live in huts. They have a Local Leader who is selected by them. His word is law and, at times of disputes his decision prevails. They inter-marry only within the same tribe. If one of them marries some one from another tribe, he or she is excommunicated. Marriage does not entail any formal celebrations. For instance, there is no wedding feast. The relatives of the inhabitants of this village live in another village in the forest called Kodanthur which is about seven hours walking distance from Moongilpallam. They eat wild roots, maize, fruits from wild plants, honey and bamboo rice. Their limited income comes from selling bamboo products and lemon grass oil, with which they buy rice from other villages. The food is insufficient and often they starve as they cannot work outside and earn enough money to buy sufficient food.

 

These people are nature worshippers. They do not have a particular place of worship but have one area in their village that they regard as sacred. They visit this area during the harvest festival(Pongal) and the festival to celebrate rain(Mari), during which they sacrifice a goat. Regular worship is not a part of their life.

                                   

Diseases are, in their belief, manifestations of punishment inflicted by God. Therefore, they never visited doctors until TEAM Vision started Phase I of this project in 1995. Until then, they took only native medicines, for better or for worse. If an illness took on a serious turn, a witch doctor from the community was summoned for assessment and further treatment. If the witch doctor’s verdict was that the patient would die, food and medicines would be withdrawn and the patient kept in a small hut away from the other huts until he or she died.

 

Such primitive beliefs dominate the lives of vast majority of the villagers who are illiterate to this day. In order to transform the attitude of this neglected segment of the population and gradually bring them to the mainstream of society so that they have access to opportunities for betterment, one of the first measures is to try to make them literate.

 

Works Done by the TEAM Vision in 1995-2000

 

  1. From 1995 onwards, a team of like minded people started visiting tribal villages named Moongilpallam, Pattiyakkadu, Pallangi Kombai, Vellagavi, Savurikkadu, vadagavunji etc., to provide free medical care and basic teachings about health and social awareness .
  2. MOONGILPALLM: Later TEAM Vision has decided to select Moongilpallam as a pioneer village, which is situated about 4 hours walking distance from Mannamanur. The inhabitants of this village are deprived of all basic amenities like food, health and education.
  3. RATION CARD: TEAM Vision prepared identity cards for all the heads of the families in Moongilpallam and encouraged them to apply for Ration Cards. We thank the Revenue Authorities and Civil Supplies Authorities for providing the ration cards to 15 families.
  4. NEW HOUSING: We brought the pathetic condition of the huts in this village to the attention of the authorities. We thank the authorities for providing Tin Sheets for roofing. 18 new huts were erected in a new location in 1999.
  5. ROAD AND LIGHT: The Forest Authorities were approached for repairing the way to the village because the location comes under the Forest Department’s Jurisdiction . They helped the villagers to lay stones on the tortuous way to the village. They also erected two solar lamps in this village because electification is not possible.
  6. KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL: TEAM Vision started a kindergarten school in this village to provide basic education and bring awareness about education in 1998. 20 children were enrolled.

 

The Year 2000-2005

 

After continuous dialogue between the underprivileged illiterates of these villages and the TEAM Vision, the elders  have agreed to send their children to school. But as there are no schools in the near vicinity, we had to keep them in a “Home” and educate them.

In this juncture the TEAM vision decided to start a “Home” for the destitute children at Kodaikanal. As per this on June 21, 2000 a ‘Home for the Destitute Children’ was inaugurated at 7/5 Anna Salai, Kodaikanal by Mr. T. Subbiah, R.D.O. Kodaikanal in the presence of the Tahsildar, Mr. Siddar Mahalingam. 19 children were admitted from Moongilpallam, Kadamanrevu and Kombaikadu. These three villages are situated about 30 kilometers from Kodaikanal. In this ‘Home’ free accommodation, food, health care and education are provided.

 

 

(Children with the Director, Administrator & staff in front of the Children’s Home)

 

Accommodation & Transport

 

The “Home” was started in a rented building in the beginning. But later a generous donor bought and donated a small piece of land for the construction of the “Children’s Home”. A building was constructed in this land in 2001. The building was extended twice to the present size. The children are now staying in the same building. Another building was constructed by the help of “World Orphans” in 2004 for the boys separately. 20 boys are accommodated in this building. In 2005 the TEAM Vision bought a van for the transport of the children to different schools. The children are studying in CSI Town School, St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School and in Government Higher Secondary School, Kodaikanal.

 

 

(Children who are ready to go to school in the van)

 

The following are the names of the children and the villages they come from:

 

NO

NAME

AGE

SEX

CLASS

VILLAGE

Orphan/Semi

Orphan/Destitute

1

N. Raja

18

M

X

Kombaikadu

S

2

B. Saravanan

17

M

X

Kombaikadu

D

3

R. Kumar

17

M

X

Kombaikadu**

D

4

T. Ganesh

14

M

VIII

Kombaikadu**

S

5

M. Suresh

13

M

VIII

Kombaikadu

S

6

T. Murugan

14

M

VII

Moongilpallam**

S

7

T. Veerammal

12

F

VII

Moongilpallam

D

8

K. Pandiyan

12

M

VII

Kombaikadu

S

9

M. Uthayakumar

12

M

VII

Kombaikadu

D

10

L. Pappayi

12

F

VII

Moongilpallam

O

11

N. Pattivel

12

M

VII

Kombaikadu**

D

12

M. Senthil

12

M

VII

Kombaikadu

D

13

V. Mageswari

12

F

VII

Kadamanrevu

D

14

N. Arumugam

11

M

VI

Moongilpallam

D

15

K. Kaliammal

11

F

VI

Moongilpallam**

D

16

R. Santhakumar

11

M

VI

Kadamanrevu

S

17

V. Mugugammal

13

F

VI

Moongilpallam

D

18

V. Jagadeesh

11

M

VI

Kombaikadu**

D

19

V. Chinnamani

11

F

VI

Moongilpallam

D

20

N. Nagu

10

F

III

Kombaikadu

S

21

M. Chitra

10

F

V

Kombaikadu

S

22

K.Chitra

10

F

V

Kombaikadu**

D

23

P. Katturaja

10

M

V

Kombaikadu

D

24

K. Nagaraj

10

M

V

Sembaramkulam**

D

25

M. Senthilkumar

10

M

V

Kombaikadu

D

26

S. Magudeeswaran

9

M

IV

Kombaikadu

D

27

M. Mariappan

9

M

IV

Kombaikadu

D

28

M. Karthik

9

M

IV

Kombaikadu

S

29

M. Vasanthi

9

F

IV

Kombaikadu

D

30

P. Kamatchi

9

F

IV

Pattiyakadu

D

31

M. Suganya

7

F

III

Kombaikadu**

D

32

V. Kamatchi

7

F

III

Kombaikadu

D

33

P. Ganesh

7

M

III

Kombaikadu

D

34

K. Ganesh

7

M

III

Kombaikadu

S

35

S. Rajapandi

7

M

III

Sukamanaikanpatty**

D

36

M. Viji

7

M

III

Kadamanravu

S

37

N. Pandyammal

6

F

II

Kombaikadu

S

38

N. Rajathi

6

F

II

Moongilpallam

D

39

M. Kaleeswari

6

F

II

Kadamanrevu**

S

40

P. Prema

6

F

II

Kombaikadu

D

41

P. Pradeep

7

M

II

Kombaikadu

D

42

K. Meenakshi

7

F

II

Kadamaravu**

S

43

V. Vasanth Kumar

6

M

II

Kadamanravu**

D

44

K. Raj

7

M

II

Kadamanravu**

S

45

S. Alagurai

7

F

II

Kumbarayoor**

O

46

K. Rani

6

F

II

Kadamanravu**

S

47

R. Ajith

6

M

II

Kadamanravu**

D

48

M. Rajeswari

6

F

II

Kadamanravu**

S

49

S. Karthik

5

M

I

Kumbarayoor**

O

50

M. Prabavathi

5

F

I

Kumbarayoor**

D

51

K. Saroja

6

F

I

Moongilpallam**

S

52

P. Karuppasamy

6

M

I

Pattiyakadu**

D

53

S. Puhalenthi

5

M

I

Sukamanaikanpatty**

D

54

K. Murugan

5

M

I

Kombaikadu**

S

55

N. Valli

5

F

I

Kombaikadu**

D

56

K. Soundarapandi

6

M

I

Kombaikadu**

D

57

P. Vetrivel

6

M

I

Kombaikadu**

D

58

M. Masaniammal

5

F

I

Kombaikadu**

D

59

K. Magudeeswaran

5

M

I

Kombaikadu**

S

60

K. Mareeswari

5

F

I

Kadamanravu**

S

61

M. Thaveethu

5

F

I

Kadamanravu**

S

 

** The children who have no sponsors

 

 

The strength of the “Children’s Home” is being increased every year and presently there are 61 children. The “Home” is run through the donations given by individual donors. 30 children are yet to be sponsored. There are many other children who are waiting for admission here. But due to financial constraints we are not able to admit more.

 

 

 

he sponsor amount for one child per year is 250 US Dollars. The Government of India has appreciated our works and granted permission under FCRA to receive funds from other countries.

 

OTHER ONGOING PROJECTS

 

1.        A Mobile Medical Unit to meet the healthcare needs of the underprivileged people

2.        Church Planting in villages and towns (70 churches were already planted)

3.        Publication of Books

 

 

PROPOSALS

 

  1. To start five Mini Health Centers in remote villages
  2. To start a Well-equipped Hospital at Kodaikanal
  3. To help poor pastors to construct church buildings.

 

Contribution/ donations/ help of any kind to achieve this goal advice and suggestions for this and related matters will be much appreciated. Receipts for all payments will be given. In addition, regular updates and annual reports will be sent to every contributor/ donor.

For further detailed information, please contact 

DR. BEVIN G. LAWRENCE, Director,

TEAM VISION, 1, Lloyds Road ,

Kodaikanal-624101, Tamil Nadu, India.

Telephone- 0091 4542 241412 or 0091 4542 240814

E mail teamvision96@yahoo.com or drbevin2001@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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This website was prepared by Dr. Bevin G. Lawrence on 29 July 2005.