With the total lockdown endlessly carried forward every month in the hill stations of Tamil Nadu, the people are left with nothing to survive.
With the support of Jugend Eine Welt of Austria and Don Bosco Network South Asia, the Salesian “Retreat-Don Bosco” House organized a programme, Covid-19 Alternative Livelihoods in Nursery Training and Nature Preservation christened as “Project CALLS”.
All the social outreach programmes were established under the name of “Shevaroyhills Tribal Development Institute” (STDi). Though there were 110 people who wanted to join the programme, the Salesian Institute could only accommodate 40 who deserved basic support in their struggle against poverty.
Among them were 10 college-going students who not only wanted to earn money to pay their college fees but also learn a skill for the future, a chance to work and earn a living on weekends and during holidays.
The participants were paid a daily wage. Many participants shared that it was very empowering and has equipped them with a skill to earn on their own.
The certificate and celebrations took place in the presence of a number of local officials including Mrs. Chitra, the Member of Legislative Assembly, Tamil Nadu of Yercaud Constituency, Mr. Gunesekar, the Block Development Officer of Yercaud, along with resource persons who accompanied them during the training and work.
Everyone lauded the Institute saying that it is the first programme of its kind in Yercaud for the tribal community.
There are already a few individual organizations that have come forward to employ them regularly for gardening works.
The trained people have started going already to a few institutions and STDi has sent out circulars to many organizers for job placement.