At AVAG, community development is considered one of the foremost areas of work. We believe that a united community with common goals and strong bonds is better equipped to conquer the challenges of rural India. A strong sense of community also brings a collective identity, increases self-esteem and a sense of security; financial as well as emotional.
AVAG’s community development programme encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at achieving a participatory and integral framework for development. Since AVAG strongly believes in participatory development initiatives, we offer a platform to analyse and challenge long held assumptions about patriarchal and caste systems. We encourage communities to recognise issues and organise themselves into problem-solving teams that can implement solutions to problems in the settlements.
House repair for Anjalatchi, village Apperumpet 2014
Development through community participation is crucial in the Bio-region since the involvement of locals not only brings valuable information about the ground reality but also improves their own understanding of issues that affect society.
- AVAG has taken up a number of government schemes, like the plan grant to improve the situation of drinking water in dalit settlements. Since dalit communities still live segregated from caste communities, infrastructure facilities in dalit settlements are often poor and require special attention.
- Other efforts include building or repairing houses of poor families and constructing toilets. The culture of open defecation is prevalent in many settlements and leads to health and hygiene issues. The transition to using toilets requires a community effort of awareness, education and participation.
- Office bearers and members of Udhayyam Women’s Federation are regularly trained to ensure that community development methods are continuously ameliorated.
We could see the excellent talents within all women. Especially this debate was wonderful. It looked like that this is happening in a big auditorium. This is totally new to all of us.
Women should be like this but they were kept aside. But women can do everything and it was truly proved only in this place. We were not happy in other places but here we are very happy. Even though we have sorrows at home, when we come here, Anbu Akka (sister) make us happy.
Amazing to see a huge women’s crowd. The way Anbu Akka and Village Action staff arrange this big event, is equal to 15 Tamil marriages. Much effort has been taken. Very useful for the people and I have seen them enjoying and happy. All sorrows have been forgotten. So it is a nice platform which you are creating Akka. It is really great!
We have friendship with all the women beyond caste (barriers). We feel that we have large family relations here to support us. This gives us courage, confidence, and there is a feeling of new energy within us.