Tamil Nadu: Preventing child labor - One child at a time
FORGOTTEN CHILDREN has been working against child labor in Tamil Nadu, India, for the past 10 years in partnership with local Indian grassroots organizations.
Our Accomplishments: Since we started our mother-daughter project, every year more than 100 children have gone back to school, more than 340 mothers are generating income, and 79 cows have been purchased. Every year, two of our best students continue their studies at the university level.
Our Mother-Daughter Project in Kodaikanal is implemented by CHUDARS.
Education and scholarships
CHUDARS is a local Indian organization which is part of St. Xavier's Girls Vocational High School in Naiduparam, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Our mother-daughter project in Kodaikanal is thriving, thanks to the caring and capable supervision of the Sisters of Visitation and Selvi, (a social worker) and CHUDARS, our sister Indian organization which contributes oversight advice. The mothers of our students meet twice a month in their self-help groups. During the first meeting they discuss their problems. The leader of the group also receives training and shares what she has learned. Recently, for example, the mothers were taught about breast cancer. At a second meeting, the mothers bring their savings of 150 Rupees ($3.00) and put them in a collective account. One a month,a woman from the group will take an interest-free loan. There are now 35 women, self-groups. Each group has 18 mothers. Sr. Saharem is starting a men's group. The men save money and send two adolescents to receive one year of training in Madurai to become bicycle mechanics. Our students are girls who come from landless families and, due to very impoverished circumstances, are at risk of discontinuing their studies to become child laborers. Among our students are Tribal children who are the first ones in their community to attend school. Every year, at least two students who distinguish themselves may receive scholarships to continue their education.