The Women’s Development Programme works through forming village level Women’s
Self Help Groups, which are brought together in a federation – the Vaigai Women’s
Federation (VWF), which has more than 1800 members.
VWF is a source of practical advice and support for its members;
it works to promote women’s rights, makes available loans for micro-enterprise
and education, provides training and runs campaigns on issues such as
domestic violence, child marriage, female foeticide and girl’s education.
Vaigai Women’s Federation was registered as a trust in 2007; in 2015 it
became financially and administratively independent, and is now moving
towards becoming a self-sufficient organisation. To learn more about VWF, please email:
Natural Resource Management
Most people in the Varusanadu valley depend on agriculture for their livelihood,
but agricultural productivity is in decline, due to soil degradation and erosion,
irregular water supply, and the misuse of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
In 2010, Vasandham established the Vasandham Environmental Resource Centre (VERC),
which is dedicated to raising awareness of natural resource management techniques
such as organic farming methods, water harvesting, indigenous crop development,
soil erosion prevention and alternative energy resources. VERC provides training
and demonstrates replicable resource management techniques to the local community,
and is also a seed bank for indigenous / traditional crops.
A network of Farmer’s Groups also operates, providing training and resources to
local farmers. The Farmers’ Groups facilitate access to government agricultural
projects, helping the local community to utilise these resources.
Vasandham has been raising public awareness on water and land-development issues
through public campaigns and informal social advocacy. It motivates the community
to recover and restore public water tanks from private encroachers; this replenishes
ground water and ensures a more reliable water supply to the community.
Vasandham works on community health issues in all the villages of the Varasanadu valley.
Our focus is on Tuberculosis, Leprosy and HIV/AIDS awareness and referral.
We also provide community health education, and raise public awareness of
government health schemes.
We have a team of village based community health workers who refer patients in
need of care to the government Primary Health Centre for an immediate health check,
and follow up on each case.