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  project name ~ MERDS Children SHG

category ~ education - child




  Project Name


MERDS Children SHG



MERDS (Muthamizh Education & Rural Developmen..



education - child






Tamil Nadu

  Budget Approved


$ 2600


  Year Approved








  Chapter Coordinators


RangaBabu Chakravartula







SHG in Action





Title of the Project:
“Self Help Group for children in Natham Block” Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India.

Project Area:
Children in the age group of 5 to 10 years.
1. School Going
2. Drop-outs
3. Never attended School
10 SHGs will be formed, consisting of 20 members in each SHG covering 200 children.

Problem in the Target Area:
In Punnapatti village Panchayat mostly scheduled caste and backward communities are living. More than eighty percent of the populations are
agricultural laborers. The employment opportunities are seasonal only. Though the parent with high ambition enroll the children in the schools, due to inability poverty, and children are dropped out from schools and enter into labour market as child labour.
The children’s scholastic achievements are very poor when compare to the children in the sub-urban areas like Natham, Dindigul and such other places.
The illiterate parents are not able to contribute for the children’s educational needs. Most of their Teachers in the schools in these villages are
coming from the sub-urban area Natham, hence they are not in a position to contribute to the children’s needs out of school hours or even in their regular school- days. They concentrate only on literacy not other areas of development. The only yard scale to measure their educational development of children is the written
examination. The poor achievement itself make the children to drop out from the schools.

NEED Assesments:
Childhood is the period of growth, development and enjoyment. The family, school and the community in general should provide opportunity for the
children to meet the needs. But in these villages children of the poor families are even unable to meet the
basic needs. Many children attend school only because the noon meal provided but food alone is not the only need. They need education, Recreation, sports, cultural events to participate. Though the conventional
way of undertaking private Tuition only gives concentration to book Reading and make the children Bookworms. Hence, MERDS, after having discussion
with Ms. Thadhani, President MPTF USA and with Educationalist and Well-wishers of MERDS Mr. S. Sheik Dawood, NIRDA, Dr. Narayana Samy, Professors Gandhigram Rural University and others evolved a non-conventional way of creating and environment for children-SHGS for children.

The clilean poet, Gabriela Mistral said: “May of the things we need can wait but not the child. It will not do to say to him ‘Tomorrow’, his name is ‘now’”.
Indians have strong faith on fate and have strong faith that a day will come for prosperity. But the child cannot retain his childhood for that day. To day they should be given the opportunity to meet their needs. An environment should contribute for the children to develop the personality, acquire education and take care of health. It is more effective in a non-formal
way than a formal educational system. Formation of Self Help Groups among children can contribute for the natural development of personality, education
and personal health and hygine.





Activities:- Two SHGs in each village were formed and strengthened. Hence, 10 SHGs in 5 villages are now effectively functioning. Each SHG is having 20 Children as members. All the Children are now attending school regularly and taking active part in all the school curricular and co-curricular activities. All the Children irrespective of Sex, Caste, Religion and economic status were enrolled as members of SHGs. Education, Health, Sports, Cultural Events and Environment development Programmes were conducted systematically. Education:- Education on the basis of school curriculum syllabus and our own syllabus were given to the children of SHGs. Every day in the evenings they are equipped with all the skills and get prepared for the next days school session. We see a lot of progress in their studies. Really our SHG centres have provided them a great interest to attend the school regularly and to study intensively. Admirations:- The school Headmasters and the Teachers of the respective areas are still approaching us to provide such education centres to other areas. They also admire our works and they do advise the other parents for to admit their Children in our centres immediately. The Chief Education Officer of our Block wrote us a letter to continue the same service to other 10 hamlets which is being very poor in education. Health:- Health camps and free health checks have been provided to our children (July and august 2003)and regular medical service were also provided to them. The doctors team advised 14 of our children to take continuous treatment for eradicating the aneaimic problem arised on them. Now they are under regular follow up. The parents of the SHGs were also informed about the health condition of their children and they were also advised to provide nutrition food for their children. Promotion of kitchen gardens is one of the vital part being followed by our Children . The greens, vegetables, flowers and medicinal plants are being grown in our Childrens homes. Sports:- Sports and games are being conducted to our Children in the evening hours and competitions were also held at regular intervals. Prizes were given to the best performers. During the day of independence(August 15th and October 2nd 2003), the birth day of Mahatma Gandhiji and the Childrens day we have conducted sports and games competitions to our village Children and the village heads were invited to award prizes to the winners. It created a healthy atmosphere and integration of our village communities. Co-Curricular activities(August 15th and September 17th 2003):- The co-curricular activities such as speaking competition, Songs, Folkdance, Drawing, Essay writing, Debate and Painting were also conducted among our Children. The village Panchayat leaders were invited to inaugurate the function and they encouraged the Children and awarded prizes for the winners. Cultural events(July 17th ,18th,19th and August 3nd &4th 2003):- Our Children were also trained in cultural performances. They performed dramas and small kits and plays. Many of our Children danced in the village stage and got appreciated by all. All the village communities submit their hearty gratitudes to AID foundation for the same. Like wise quiz competitions and Yoga performances were also participated in these compettions also and enriched their knowledge. The principal of private matriculation school have presided these activities and he appreciated the performances of our rural Children. Environment Programmes:- Environment protection education were given at their class rooms and they awareness education on pollution control and tree plantations were also provided to them. A ralley insisting of keeping the atmosphere clean were also conducted in Natham(September 3rd 2003). Rain water harvesting is the another factor which our Government too insisted us all to follow and our Children achieved the same through a ralley programme(September 29th 2003). Audio Visual Programme(September 1 to 5 2003):- Audio Visual Programme regarding the environment pollution and Rain water harvesting has been screened and illustrated to our Children. It gave a great impact on them and as a result we can see the Rain water harvesting system in each and voluntary helped them and encouraged them during their activities. Savings:- This is the most appreciated scheme by our SHGs. All our SHG Children were provided printed cards which are useful to enter the savings of every individuals. Every day or Week, the Children bring their savings money(one or two Rupees) and their savings are being deposited in the Post Office. The Staff of the centre will take care on the programme. The Parents and Teacher Association:- The Parents and Teacher Association had its meet on September 15th they discussed in detail about the on going system of our centre and they suggest their options to undertake our on goings very efficiently and continuously. The parents are getting more interested in sending their children to the group activities and a significant number of school drop outs are beginning to re-join the school. A key highlight of the program is a letter from a local government official appreciating the program and requesting MERDS to extend the program to the government schools during the regular school hours.





Over all objective: To create an environment self help group to complement and supplement the developmental needs of the children. Specific Objectives: The children member of the SHG will contribute for the enrollment of all the children in the villages into the school and contribute for educational achievements through non-formal sittings. The members of SHGs for children will be given orientation to keep personal health & Hygine of their peers-Health monitoring. Developing sports and games to develop self-confidence, Team spirit, integration, Healthy competitions. Facilitate the members of SHG for children to develop programmes that contribute for Body, mind and soul Development. To supplement the nutritional needs by providing refreshment at the time of gatherings in the evening. Encourage the SHGs to involve in the nature study environment education. Encourage the children to save money and have account in the Bank or Post-Office. Plan of Action: Programme Design - 5 villages are selected for the project implementation. Two SHGs will be formed in each village enrolling 200 children. Each SHG will have 20 children as members. Selection of children: The genesis of the SHGs will be explained in the schools and in the play ground and they will be encouraged to join in SHGs. All the children irrespective of sex, caste, religion and economic status will be enrolled as members in the SHGs. The members of SHGs will be given orientation to run the SHGs in democratic way and in rotation. Sub-groups will be formed to implement programme Education, Health, Sports, Cultural Events, Environment Development programmes. Once in three months the sub-groups will exchange their roles and responsibilities with the help of members of SHG for children, the volunteers incharge will undertake a Baseline survey of the all the children in their villages. The Baseline survey will give importance to i) Health Conditions – Present Status, ii) Educational level iii) Children’s I-Q iv) Skills v) Health habbits –personal Health & Hygine and family particulars. The information’s gatherers from the Baseline survey will be discussed with Parents, Teachers, SHGs (Women in the village. Quarterly progress will be discussed with the above said groups youth volunteers in the respective village will be given orientation to facilitate the SHGs for children. A Project coordinator will be nominated to coordinate the Activities of SHGs for children. Public places such Temple, Chouetry, community Hall etc will be utilized for the children to gather, discuss and execute the programmes.



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