Welcome

ISLAND TRUST‘ which stands for Indo Sri Lankan Development Trust was founded in July 1984 in Tamil Nadu, South India. It was founded to render succour, relief and love to the displaced Tamil Repatriates from Sri Lanka and to garner and bring the global concerns of mankind love to his brother to remote distances, regardless of differences in languages, cultures or nationality.

Island Trust has completed 26 years of professional dedicated service in developing the capacity of its target group in Nilgiris district in order to take them to attain overall development. The foot prints of Island Trust show that the Repatriates from Sri Lanka, Dalits and Tribal communities in Nilgiris were able to fullfill their needs and solve their problems by raising their level of capacity through well designed sustainable and intensive programmes. The activities of the Trust are multifaceted aimed at the development of Children, women and youth.

Island Trust now serves in 225 Villages in the 6 taluks of Nilgiris district. The organization has embraced all the marginalized sections of the society during the last 26 years with the expansion of its vision, mission and the geographical area.

Our Services include:

1. Education

Objectives

  • Assure basic education to all children in our focus villages
  • Assist the poor families who are unable to afford for the education of their children
  • Help the rural children to cope up with their studies through evening schools
  • Motivate and award scholarship to the Tribal and Dalit youth to pursue higher education
  • Activate the Parent-Teacher Association to ensure proper functioning of schools and quality education to children

Activities

  • Education Campaign
  • Education Assistance
  • Supplementary School
  • Monthly Scholarship / Stipend for higher Education
  • Vocational & Career Guidance

Achievements

  • 100% enrolment in schools in 175 villages
  • 5849 Children have availed educational assistance
  • 433 Youth have completed higher studies with our scholarship
  • 26 Supplementary schools are run in remote villages
  • 3000 young men and women have made right choice in education and employment
  • Drop out is reduced to less than 10% in tribal and dalit areas
  • First generation of tribal communities is in the school in several tribal villages
  • Healthy habits are practiced by the tribal and dalit children

2. HIV/AIDS Awareness and Intervention

Objectives

  • Prevention of HIV/AIDS through education, medical camps, counseling and referral services
  • Promote Holistic health among the target communities
  • Prevent Infant and maternal mortality through safe health practices
  • Prevent disability due to lack of immunization
  • Ensure hygienic surroundings in villages
  • Elimination of denial, stigma and discrimination of PLWHAs and creation of supportive community structures
  • Ensure nutritious and chemical-free vegetables and herbs at home and in the farm

Activities

  • Preventive Health Education
  • Formation of Health Clubs
  • Health Awareness through children (Child to Child Approach)
  • HIV / AIDS – Preventive Education & elimination of denial, Stigma & Discrimination
  • Income Generation Activity for PLWHAs
  • Promotion of Herbal garden and Indigenous system of Medicine

Achievements

  • Serving as the District Health Resource centre for a state level health network organization called ‘Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association’, Chennai
  • Appointed as the District Facilitation Centre for HIV/AIDS and Indian System of Medicine Projects in Nilgiris District
  • Facilitated a district level network for the People Living With HIV/AIDS
  • Hygienic health practices introduced at the individual and community level
  • All Children and Pre and post natal mothers are immunized
  • Kitchen garden is maintained in majority of the houses
  • Village Health Clubs organize health camps and trainings
  • Education on HIV / AIDS is given in all villages among all sections of people
  • Campaign and advocacy initiated for prevention of stigma & Discrimination
  • 84 People living with HIV / AIDS receive solidarity, care & support and counseling services
  • Native Medicare is practiced by the families

3. Housing

“A House is not only a physical structure to protect the inhabitants from sun, rain and dangerous animals but it is a symbol of Dignity and Assertion of one’s Rights”

Objectives

  • Build houses in partnership with the Donor agencies (fund), the people (land) and the NGO (technology)
  • Liberate the displaced people from semi-bonded condition (low wages, extra hours of work, compulsion to do domestic works, no freedom to work anywhere because of provision of shelter by the employers)
  • Restore the Dignity of women from sexual exploitation
  • Motivate the people to demand housing as their right from the government and other financial institutions

Activities

  • Establishment of Communities (Settlements)
  • Provision of House site
  • Construction of Houses
  • Repairing of Houses

Achievements

  • 60 villages (community living) have been established
  • Constructed 2200 houses in Nilgiris District
  • Distributed 40 Acres of land as House site to the poorest of the poor
  • Won the National Award for the Best Rural Housing in 1997
  • Inculcated the habit of using latrines by the target communities for the first time
  • Smokeless chulhas installed in all houses
  • The middle class people among the repatriates have been guided to avail loans to build houses

4. Tribal Projects

Adhivasi Development Initivatives & Tribal Association for fifth Schedule Campaign

Objectives

  • Ensure Self ruled tribal communities with the Constitutional status of 5th Schedule
  • Alleviate poverty among the tribal communities
  • Improve Education, health and basic amenities
  • Revive their culture and tradition

Activities

  • Community organization
  • Education promotion
  • Capacity Building of Tribal leaders
  • Campaign for the Constitutional Right of 5th schedule (Self Rule)
  • Legal Aid for land Rights
  • Preservation of Culture and Heritage
  • Documentation of their traditional knowledge systems

Achievements

  • Tribal communities are getting organized under one umbrella in the name of ‘ Nilgiris Adivasi Movement’ (NILAM – which means in the local vernacular LAND)
  • 750 acres of land traditionally enjoyed but lost to various people recovered in the past 2 years
  • Tribal leaders are better equipped with the knowledge and skills to function as effective leaders and demand their fundamental rights
  • GRAMA SABHAS (village level governing body) are conducted by the leaders on their own
  • All tribal children are enrolled in schools and motivated to complete at least the high school education offered freely by the government
  • Evening schools have made the tribal children stand on par with the privileged children
  • Hundreds of acres of lost tribal lands have been redeemed from the encroachers
  • Village Functions have revived the traditional art and cultural forms and motivated the youth to learn them
  • Tribal youth have taken active participation in the developmental activities of the villages
  • 26 tribal villages have documented the history and the socio-cultural practices of their communities

5. Women Empowerment

Objectives

  • Raise the social, economic, cultural and political status of the women
  • Promote women leadership in all possible social structures
  • Establish equitable place for women in society

Activities

  • Formation of SHGs
  • Entrepreneurship Development Training
  • Leadership training for women particularly for the Elected women representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (local bodies)
  • Economic development for widows and destitute
  • Campaign and advocacy for women rights

Achievements

  • Facilitated 500 women Self Help Groups (SHG)
  • 6000 women are organized into one Federation called ‘Ezhuchi’ (means in the vernacular REFORM)
  • Nearly 2000 women have been trained in micro enterprises
  • 584 women are self employed in micro enterprises
  • The income, health and social status have improved for rural women
  • 154 women have occupied official positions in the local governance (panchayti raj institution)
  • 132 elected women have been imparted Leadership skill development training
  • Panchayat Grama Sabhas ( general body of the panchayats) are functioning effectively with large number of women’s participation
  • A group of widows and destitute women are getting income from lease tea garden

6. Environment

Objectives

  • To improve conservation of the natural environment and biological diversity of the project area by assisting the women and eco-club members to develop, use and manage their resources in an ecologically sound, socially beneficial and economically viable manner

Activities

  • Eco-club formation in Schools and in Communities (where schools do not exist)
  • Facilitation of Community Based organizations
  • Orientation training to the stakeholders on forest management and eco-conservation
  • Interaction progammes between CBOs and forest officials on preservation / promotion of forest and collection Non timber Forest Produces
  • Planning & implementation of water shed programmes in the intervention area
  • Promotion of Sustainable agriculture / alternative farming
  • Tree planting and protection
  • Study about the status of environment and sustainability level of the target communities before and after intervention
  • Campaign and Lobby for protection of forests by the Village Communities / CBOs

Achievements

  • Planting of 30,000 saplings in villages under personal care of individual families
  • Promotion of Environment Watch Dog Committees comprising of students and youth in the name of Nature’s Eyelids
  • Motivation to more than one lakh tourists on the ways to protect environment in Nilgiris and promote Alternate Tourism
  • Won District Level Awards for Best Environment Exhibition held during Flower Show Festival at Ooty
  • Stopped Bauxite Mining in Nilgiris District through Campaign and AdvocacyW
  • Conducted Surveys and researches on the Degradation of the Environmental condition in Nilgiris district

7. Climate Change Education and Reduction

Island Trust has been seriously engaged in protecting the Environment of the Nilgiris since 1990s. Our volunteer watch dog committees in the name of Nature’s Eyelids have done yeomen service in protecting the environmental sanctity of the Nilgiris Biosphere. (Please refer our service on Environment).

As one step further, Island Trust has plunged into educating the public and our focus group communities especially the tribal communities about the Climate Change Impacts and facilitating their involvement in reducing it.

Our activities in Climate Change Project include:

  • Climate change education in villages and schools
  • Study of People’s experience on Climate Change
  • Video documentation of Climate Change effects
  • Seminars / workshops for CBOs and Consumer Organizations
  • Campaign with Local Bodies – Panchayats and Municipalities
  • Rallies and Public Meetings for awareness generation on Climate Change
  • Planting of 25000 Saplings in tribal and community lands in 2009 – 2010
  • Facilitation of life style changes among the community members
  • Promotion of Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture
  • Exhibitions on Climate Change effects in the Nilgiris District at important Government Functions and gatherings
  • Filing of legal cases against grabbing of natural resources
  • Organizing 350.org observation of Climate Change Action Day at the district Level
  • Strengthening of Nature’s Eyelids Environmental Protection Group with open membership to CBOs and environmental activists

Island Trust has won appreciation from the district administration for its efforts on promoting awareness on Climate Change in the district. Island Trust receives funding support from TAMWED, a UK based NGO (www.tamwed.org) for Climate Change activities since 2009.