Communities supported by Grace Charitable Trust
Grace Charitable Trust is currently supporting and sponsoring over 350 tribal children in nine tribal villages within Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Six villages have tuition centres with a teacher employed by the Trust and we visit each village regularly to meet with the teachers and see the progress of our children. The villages are as follows:
Villages with a tuition centre
Chemmanatham is home to 49 families, all members of the Irula tribe. The village has two temples, a nearby river and is home to the first of Grace Charitable Trusts new-build tuition centres. A new toilet block has also been built. There is also a volleyball court which is used frequently by the teenage boys in the village. There is no clean water supply in this village so many people get ill from drinking water from the river. Grace Charitable Trust are planning to provide maintenance to the bore well so the villagers will once more have access to clean drinking water. Most of the residents work as daily wage labourers in the nearby fields.
Theppakadu is a collection of three villages and Grace Charitable Trust are involved with Camp Padi, a village located behind an elephant sanctuary. 50 families live in this village and they are all members of the Karumba tribe. The village has many temples and is also close to a river. We had to get special permission from the Forestry Department for the tuition centre here. Most of the residents work as forest department workers or elephant trainers.
- Anaikatty (and Erode)
Anaikatty is the largest tribal village in the area, home to 75 families. The village is 20 kilometres from the nearest town, Masinagudi, and is surrounded by the tiger reserve. The residents are members of the Irula tribe and there are many temples in the village as well as a Government school. Most of the residents work as daily wage labourers in the nearby fields. Anaikatty is two kilometres from a small village called Erode, with 10 families living there. Erode has no electricity and no road leading to it and the residents are extremely poor. Grace Charitable Trust has built a new tuition centre for these villages.
- Anaikatty (and Erode)
Kanyakumari is around 1 kilometre from Anaikatty, home to 31 families. The village is split into Karumba and Irula tribes. The villagers travel to Anaikatty to worship in the temples. Most of the residents work as daily labourers in the nearby fields. There is a new tuition centre built by Grace Charitable Trust on the edge of the village.
Siriyur is the most remote village in the area, deep inside the jungle and 25 kilometers from the nearest town, Masinagudi. There are around 40 families living in the village and they are members of the Irula and Karumba tribes. There is one large, famous temple, one smaller temple and a nearby river. Most of the residents work as daily laborers in the nearby fields. The children of Siriyur have to travel long distances to school and rely on the Grace Charitable Trust school bus to get to school safely, and use the new tuition centre during evenings, weekends and school holidays.
- Bokkapuram (Kurumbarpallam)
Kurumbarpallam is a colony of Kurumba tribe in Bokkapuram village. There around 150 families live there and there are neraly 60 children are in the village. The near by school is about 2.5 KM away from the village. Children have to walk everyday toreach this GTR School. Most of the villagers are working in nearby coffee estate and many resorts in Bokkapuram. All their houses are one room houses which were built by the Tamil Nadu Government. Bokkapuram tuition centre is the newest one to be opened.
Villages without a tuition centre
- KallampalayamThis village is located in Thengumarahada which is the east border of The Nilgiris District. To reach this village is real adventurous and thrilling experience. Yes, absolutely there is no proper road and transport facilities to this village and all the children were struggling to go to High Schools to other villages. Due to this issue most of the children were dropped out and few were hiring a taxi and it was unaffordable. Now Grace Charitable Trust is arranging a bus to transport these children and now everyone using the bus at free of cost to Higher education to Thengumarahada High School and Allimoyar Middle School.
- AllimoyarAllimoyar is also located in the Mudumali Tiger Reserve. There is no connection from any other village. The village has about 50 tribal families and most of them are farmers. There is middle school funded by the Government. The free and safe transportation for the High School children was organised by GCT.
- PudukkaduThis is about 2 KM away from Thengumarahada village. There is no school in this village. There about 40 tribal families live and most of them are farmers. The children have to go to Thengumarahada High School for their education. GCT has arranged the free transportation to go to the school at free of cost.