Koneripatty Agraharam is a village of some 4,150 people located 42 miles (68 Km) from Salem in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The inhabitants depend heavily on agriculture, and children are often forced to work to support their families instead of attending school.
Most women work in agriculture and are paid very low wages. Succeeding is made even more complicated by weed trees, sucking out vital ground water and making the soil poor. Together with poor or no education this leaves many people in the village in extreme poverty.
Village Uplift Program
In March 2016, our local partner, Hand in Hand, met with local leaders, ward members, self-help group members and school teachers from the village and discussed the Village Uplift Program, which was formally launched on 22 March 2016.
The challenges are many and the inhabitants of Koneripatty Agraharam have the opportunity to give their views on desirable actions. But, broadly, Hand in Hand will be working in five tested focus areas:
- Job creation/women's empowerment
- Child labour elimination/access to education
- Citizen's Centre
Hand in Hand's field team has already begun visiting every family in the village to identify child workers, and then do what they can to get them in school. If required, Hand in Hand will pay for evening tuition.
Young women need skills to create their own livelihoods to become independent and make their own choices. With the help of Hand in Hand’s program and our sponsorship, it’s hoped that hundreds of women entrepreneurs will start businesses such as tailoring, bicycle repair, shops and more.
Another major challenge is hazardous plastic and waste which is dumped in the surrounding area. There are few toilets and little knowledge of health and sanitation. Hand in Hand will provide micro-loans for people who want to build new toilets.
Follow the journey!
We are very excited about what the project will mean for the village inhabitants, and the long-term changes that will develop the village and improve the lives of the people who live and work there. Follow us on this important journey and keep abreast of developments in our village by visiting our website.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the Village Uplift Program or our partnership with Hand in Hand.
Young women in Koneripatty Agraharam who are looking for a better future