Where we work

ODAM is based in Tiruchuli, a small town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The KGBV School and Barathi Hostel are located 15 km away in the rural village of Narikudi., one of the least developed areas in the state.

The soaring temperatures and arid soil in these areas make agricultural activity non viable or extremely difficult. Many of the inhabitants  are illiterate and don’t have the access to the government schemes designed to help the poorest people.Many of them work on farms, in the charcoal production  industry, in match factories or in cotton mills

In the late 90s some private companies came to this area to purchase the community’s land at the lowest price. Due to the sale of their land, Dalits, women and children are adversely affected. They are losing their farmland, temples and access to local wells, forcing women to travel further to collect clean water.

When jobs are unavailable, these  people take out loans from local moneylenders, at very high  interest rates as banks do not give loans to poor individuals. These loans put families in perpetual “debt traps”. In many cases, the loan conditions stipulate that children will assume the repayment of their parent’s debt, and any additional expenses accrued during this period. This “debt-trap” forces all members of the family to work as laborers, preventing any individual from escaping to pursue their education.

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