AIRD commenced work from 1991 with palmrah workers and other rural artisans, women and children.

AIRD was part of a network intervention programme from 1996 called NEERA (Network for Education and Empowerment of Rural Artisans) and reached out to the communities in 30 Panchayhats of Ramanathapuram and Tuthukudi Districts. This initiative included organising palmyrah workers and women to form into women Self Help Groups and palmyrah workers Sangams. Shelter development, Community health, Child care and Education and Livelihood Promotion programmes were initiated under NEERA network in phases from 1996 to 2012.

AIRD also worked as part of an alliance in Tamilnadu in a community based care and support programme for families affected by HIV/AIDS. This programme covered 22 districts in Tamilnadu with support from International HIV/AIDS Alliance, UK. AIRD, through this programme, reached thousands of infected, affected, and vulnerable families in Ramnathapuram district.

AIRD implemented CRL (Climate Change responses, Risk reduction, and Livelihood promotion) programe in Ramanathpuram district, a programme implemented by 12 NGOs in different parts of Tamilnadu. The programme focused on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, micro insurance, disaster preparedness, microfinance, and social enterprises.

Ongoing Programmes

Joint Liability Groups

In 2017 NABARD has sanctioned AIRD with 100 No. of Joint Liability Groups to be formed among men, women and as mixed groups for promotion and credit linkage in four Blocks such as Ramanathpuram,Thiruppullani, Mandapam and Kadaladi Blocks in Ramanathapuram district.

The formation and credit linkage activities are on in these Blocks at present.

Micro Entreprise Development Programme

Training on USHA Silai School & Jute & Cloth Bag making

USHA Silai School Training of USHA International Ltd. - Micro Entreprise Development Programme for promoting Women Empowerment of USHA International Ltd.
USHA International Ltd. - NMCT- AIRD
(USHA International Ltd., New Delhi - NMCT, Coimbatore - AIRD, Ramanathapuram)

As a collaborative activity, AIRD in association with NMCT, Coimbatore and USHA International Ltd., New Delhi organised a USHA's CSR sponsored "One Week Residential Tailoring School Training in the name of USHA Silai School Programme" at Citizen Mahal,Ramanathapuram in February,2018.The Training was conducted from 15 to 21/Feb./2018 for 20 selected deserving women from Ramanathapuram,Thiruppullani,Mandapam,Rameswaram and Kadaladi Blocks.

The Women empowerment training was provided by the Resource persons / Technical Training Staff from USHA International Ltd. On (1) Assembling of Sewing machine from the stage of opening the Sewing machine package received from USHA Co., (2) Servicing the Sewing machine for equiping the Trainees for attending simple, minor to major repairs, (3) Stitching 12 patterns of different kinds of male and female garment items and (4) Simple Embroidery works.

At the end of the Training each trained woman was freely provided with a Training Manual, a Brand new USHA Sewing machine with Tools Bag, USHA Silai (Tailoring) School Board and a Certificate that testifies that they are qualified Sewing Teachers.

This training equipped and enabled a trained hand to make income in three ways such as, (1) by means of providing Training collecting a reasonable, affordable cost from Trainees, (2) Stitching garments and (3) Embroidery works on stitched clothes.

At the valedictory function, each trained woman was given with an instruction / assignment to train inturn 20 young and interested women in their native village / area on stitching, embroidery for atleast 6 months collecting affordable fee from trainees to whom the USHA Co. will provide Certificate after training and for the willing trained women USHA will sell out the USHA Sewing machines at a subsidised rate.

Training on Jute & Cloth Bag making

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India's Micro Enterprise Development Programme (EDII-MEDP)

In association with Voluntary Association for People's Society (VAPS), Madurai, and accenture (an I.T Company) sponsored Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India)'s Micro Enterprise Development Programme (EDII-MEDP), being the organising and turnkey agent in Ramnad district, a Micro Enterprise Development Programme known as a Training on Jute & Cloth Bag making was conducted at Thiruppullani from 12.02.2018 to 12.03.2018 (except Saturdays & Sundays) for deserving women.

47 deserving and underprivileged women having Educational qualification of 8th Std. and above from Ramanathapapuram,Thiruppullanai and Mandapam Blocks of Ramanathapapuram district underwent the training and learnt on making 13 models of Jute & Cloth Bags along with entrepreneurial skills including communication,decision making,managerial skills etc.,

All the 47 women who got trained were issued with Certificate by EDII of Ahmedabad, Gujarat at the end of the Training programme.

Moreover, Seven (7) women with educational qualification below 8th Std. who underwent the same training during this period were issued with the Certicate from VAPS of Madurai.So, altogether 54 women completed the Micro Enterprise Development Programme on Jute & Cloth Bag making successfully.

Women empowerment and Deepam Federation: Deepam Federation in Ramanathaouram district functions with 156 groups. The total number of member families is 2986 with a turnover of Rs. 78,00,000. The major activities include women empowerment through economic enabling and social protection. The Federation is managing a community based micro credit and savings system and also an insurance scheme.

Farmer's organisation: Farmers are mobilised and organised into farmers clubs. Currently 45 farmers clubs are functioning. NABARD extends support for the farmers clubs.

Target Intervention for Female Sex Workers (TI FSW) This programme is implemented with the support from Tamil Nadu State Aids Control Society, Chennai. The core objective of this program is to identify Female Sex Workers, ensuring safe sex practices through use of condom, increasing their health seeking behavior by periodical health check-up especially for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), taking continuous treatment and also motivating the partners for treatment has been ensured with most of the people identified. As done with all other AIRD community interventions, this vulnerable community too was promoted to form a federation called “Sirakukal” and registered as a legal entity to address the concerns themselves.

Reach and achievements of this initiative are as given below:

The Reach (April 2017 - March 2018)
Registered 1140
STI Clinic Visit 1773
Regular Medical Check up 1721
HRG on STI Treatment 0
Presumptive Treatment 52
HIV Testing 1518
Free Male Condom Distributed 109870

Current issues and needs

AIRD, being a learning organisation that understands that the context is constantly changing, decided to visit its constituent communities and their context to study the programme impact as perceived by them and the new issues and challenges faced by them. This in fact is perceived as an opportunity to integrate communities and participate in the Global Mandate of development goals over the next decade.

The qualitative study, carried out through focus group discussions, covered 43 villages reaching the diverse communities living in Ramanathapuram district in terms of both the socio-economic setting as well as the agro-climatic setting.

Major issues emerging from the study are in the process of being vetted and once the exercise is completed, it is envisaged to be integrated into the AIRD programming mandate in future.

Issues perceived by people

Needs expressed by people