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Our Programs
Indigenous people's Land Rights movement
The Scheduled Tribes and Forest Dwellers (Forest Rights Recognition) Act of India ensures rights to traditional lands land and forest use to forest dwelling communities. It is not yet implemented in Tamil Nadu, a South India. TNTDS translated the Act in Tamil, the regional language and disseminates the information to the beneficiary communities. It also organizes seminars and workshops in various parts of the state on the Act and its provisions. Identifying potential leaders of the target groups in various geographical locations of the States is also underway.

A study on the adverse effects on the Lives of the indigenous Peoples is under way at the national level. It is taking steps to unite artisanal and small scale individual minors to move towards sustainable mining with less hazards and child labor.
United Indigenous Womenís Rights Movement
Indigenous women lack gender equality, education, reproductive care and maternal health as defined in the UNFPA. TNTDS organizes indigenous women in groups at the village level and educates them on reasons behind socio economic backwardness and denial of rights. Organized women in groups enter into savings and credit activity. This enables them to get rid of cruel money lenders slowly.

The leaders of the groups are educated on gender equality, skills of participating in decision making process and move towards a collective action. Women in this process get opportunity to share with other women, build dialogue on common issues and collaborate with other Womenís movements.

The Indigenous Women groups are trained to obtain tenders from the Government collectively to collect minor forest produces, process and find fair prices. This is specific division of labor they performed for generations which enabled them to maintain their status in the family and society while genuinely playing their role in managing forests sustainably.
Indigenous Adolescent Rights initiative
TNTDS realize the importance of adolescentís rights to sexual and reproductive well being as they from a sizable portion of the community. The increasing early marriages, adolescent pregnancies, unsafe traditional abortions risk of STDs and HIV/AIDS are alarming. It is important to concentrate immediate on this crucial issue.

TNTDS has been educating the women on this subject in their group meetings, educating adolescents through seminars and workshops to build the capacity in deciding. A campaign has been going on to eradicate adolescent marriages with the support of enlightened women in the groups. The trained community health volunteers are also started dialogue with adolescents to create awareness on adolescent health.
Community Based Health Care and Promotion of Native Medicine
An alternative to the class oriented western system of medicine; TNTDS intends to revive the good old system of Native Medical system.

Native medicine knowledge has been passed on to Jawadhu Hill community through family traditions some of which go back five generations as there were no doctors and health services. The traditional healers from own experience and sharing with other healers, they are able to treat the most common aliments, and specializes in certain areas. They treat: eczema, scabies, impotence hernia, piles, lucoria, heart problems, boils, bleeding, infertility, migraine, fever, snake and scorpion bites, mental disorders, arthritis, inflammation, diabetes, jaundice, paralysis, gastritis, diarrhea, ulcers, kidney stones, asthma, anemia and bone fractures. The women among have knowledge of birthing and also focus on pre-natal and postnatal care.

Men and women of middle aged who are traditional healers have been identified by TNTDS and they underwent an intensive session of sharing among best practice, practical herbal medicine preparation and documentation.
Indigenous childrenís Education initiative
TNTDS runs 2Bridge Schools in Jawadhu hills for educating the indigenous school drop- out children. Psycho social support through games, dance, songs, story telling etc is deployed as teaching methods. Educational soft ware donated by Azim Premji Foundation of WIPRO is also used to accelerate educational skills to enter into main stream of education in the following academic year. The children are formed into wisdom circles to learn and bring out their inner potentials in right way. Volunteers from the community are selected and trained to educate the children to realize their right to education and particularly believing that education is a powerful instrument in bringing development and change. Children are also motivated to observe nature, interact with forests and mountains on which they depend and regard to inspire them to create the sense of protecting their forests.

School drop out Children are educated through Wisdom Circle methodology through which they observe scientifically things. They share with other children and if they need clarification they approach their Grand Fathers and elders in the village who know information of generations. This encourages them to come out of inferiority state and confident with their wisdom. Two such circles are run by TNTDS at present.
Dalit Human Rights protection
Untouchability in the society is a stigma which dehumanizes a section of working class people. TNTDS understands that conflicts and followed hostilities occur due to the demand of the Dalits for higher wages, social status etc., TNTDS takes up cases of violations and struggles individually or jointly with human right defenders. It also carries out campaigns to prevent violations. Dr. Ambedkar, a scholar and father of the Indian constitution who is regarded as the leader of Dalits gave a call to his fellowmen to embrace Budhism to get rid of untouchabilty created by Hinduism. He also showed the strategy of organize, educate and agitate which TNTDS follows for community organization.
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Quick Info
TNTDS was founded by Ms. A. Kalai Selvi, an Indigenous woman and Mr. C. Arokia Dass, a Dalit activist in the year 1986
Our vision is for a world where indigenous Peoples are recognized and respected; free to live on their own lands, safe from violence, oppression and exploitation.
Our Mission is to protect and promote the Rights of the Indigenous People through education, capacity building, organization and Collective Action.
TNTDS deploys the strategy of educate, organize and agitate to gain dignity for the Dalits.