Our area of intervention is the Vanur block of Villupuram District, which has been designated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj as one of the most backward districts in the country. As per the State Human Development Report 2017, Villupuram is one of the bottom five districts of Tamil Nadu.
Vanur block is industrially backward with roughly 75% of the population living in rural settlements and being engaged as small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers.
The Scheduled Castes/Dalits or those considered as untouchables or impure by the community, constitute over 30% of the total population in this region, which is much higher than the state average of 20%. Similar to other states and communities, the scheduled caste in this region is the most vulnerable and downtrodden and live separately from higher caste communities, with inter-caste interaction being restricted or prohibited in many cases.Women, particularly from the Dalit communities are even more devalued and excluded socially, which has substantial detrimental psychological consequences on their self-esteem and self-confidence.
The Gender Development Index for Villupuram district is 0.582 as against the value of 0.654 in Tamil Nadu, making this district the lowest in the state. The low GDI rank is less than the HDI rank in Villupuram district showing that the women in the district suffer from lower achievements than men. This is visible with rampant growth in violence against women, preferential treatment for boys, domestic chores only on the shoulders of women, alcoholism, sexual abuse, lack of women’s participation in decision making, minimal or no participation in sports and cultural activities.
In response to the complex set of conditions that results in gender inequity, poverty and limited access to resources for development, We have designed a unique and multifaceted development program to reveal the innate wisdom and manifest the full potential of rural communities through collaborative efforts.
AVAG’s projects are aimed at empowering rural communities, with focus on women and other marginalised groups. These groups are given tools to challenge oppression and inequality through various interventions like awareness programs, trainings and sustainable livelihood projects.’
AVAG’s emphasis is on co-development and designing solutions based on a deep understanding of the communities.
About The Organisation
At AVAG, we promote solidarity and cooperation between people from different walks of life and aim to counter issues which underlie the traditional social and economic structures of the target communities. Through various initiatives, we have impacted over 50% communities of Vanur Block in Villupuram district and going forward, aim to expand our activities to the remaining communities.