A satisfying journey of empowering people for a promising future...
One of the major developments during this period of 10 years is the substantial expansion in terms of geographical territory and in numbers. SPPD’s activity were confined to 2 districts until 2007 has now got expanded to 7 districts of Tamilnadu state.
Similarly, a quantum jump has also taken place in number of members of various target communities. For instance, in this decade alone around 18000 women have been facilitated to get organized in to 1200 Self Help Groups. Well over 9000 children of poor and deprived sections have been reached with a variety of interventions.
Focus on shaping the lives of youth has been a pioneering effort of SPPD. We have in this period guided, ensured skill training and rewarding career placements for as many as 550 youth. Our reach to the marginal and dry land farming community too underwent transformation. The previous interventions of helping farmers mainly in chemical input driven agriculture have been directed towards ensuring low cost fodder and organic farming techniques for Sustainable Agriculture. The idea of establishing a Farmers’ Producers Company has been mooted by the members of farmers clubs in 2017.
Disaster Management is yet another milestone of SPPD in this period, as we have been involved in working cyclone and flood hit victims of the poor slum neighbourhoods of Chennai city. Apart from relief and rehabilitation Disaster Preparedness training is carried out as ongoing activity among slum dwellers in the city.
Mr. Patrick Doolan, an acquaintance of Mr. Andrew McElroy, visited the Community Centre. This resulted in a commitment on his part to fund-raise in the US and Europe and mentor the organization for a period of 3 years until 2010.
The new Community Centre was officially opened by HE Kiaran Dowling, the then Irish Ambassador to India.
Funded by Irish Aid, construction of a Community Centre was started in Soriyampatti, a village 15 km from Thannirpalli. 2003 SPPD created Red Ribbon Club with 21 members for the benefit of women living with HIV. They were linked to Women Development Corporation of Tamil Nadu.
SPPD initiated a model research farm for the benefit of the small and marginal farmers.
Raju met Andrew McElroy from Ireland in Delhi and explained him the work of SPPD. The following year Andrew McElroy visited the project. He was so impressed with what he saw and he recommended SPPD to the Irish Embassy for funding.
The scope of the ESCs increased to five villages. Early support came from William Buchanan, Professor of Philosophy at Michigan University, USA. Another supporter was Antony David from Wales, UK.
Society for Poor People Development (SPPD) was founded by Raju and a group of four fellow students. A registered office was opened in Raju’s parents’ home in Thannirpalli. The first Evening Study Centre (ESC) was launched.
Now SPPD employs more than 40 full-time and 26 part-time staff, has served the educational & health needs of more than 15,000 children, supported over 52,000 women so far. And SPPD has been equiping the rural youth with vocational skill training health and apart from disaster rehabilitation and disaster preparedness training and promotion of sustainable agriculture pracitices. And around 2000 backyard kitchen gardens have been developed by the children of ESCs untill now.
SPPD has been accredited by the International Organizations like Global Giving, and Your Cause and the India based organization Give India. Our interventions have also been recognized and certified by the Irish foreign diplomatic mission in India.