CCD reaches out to returned migrants and vulnerable households with relief package generated with the support from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) and Rapid Rural Community Response to Cope with Covid-19 (RCRC) Programme of National Coalition of CSOs,
Bose returned to his native village, T. Veppankulam after 22 years with his family as a result of lock-down imposed due to COVID-19. Without any work for more than two months and with no savings and stocks, they were unable to eke out their living and pay rent to their home, they have finally decided to return to their native village.
Staying in homes is a distressing experience altogether for the households that are economically weak and vulnerable, for whom staying in isolation and social distancing are the matters of concern as it puts them in difficult situation. Because, their livelihoods are dependent heavily on exchange of their muscle labour. Even a day out of work will have an immediate impact on their sustenance.
Significant number of households in these districts are employed in Brick industries in Madurai, knitwear industries in Tiruppur and Coimbatore. Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are the common destinations for the migrant labourers from southern districts of Tamil Nadu. During the lock-down, a major portion of people have returned to their homes. There is a simmering hopelessness and uncertainty over future of their livelihoods after the lock-down, as the economic impacts forecasted on these industries are not so encouraging.
Needless to say that the households that eke out their living with the muscle labour, vested with very little or no stock of food and finance are bearing the brunt of lock-down and its downside. Complete halting of agricultural operations in the last one-and-a-half month, no mobility to take up jobs in the nearby cities and towns, have deprived of meager savings and food stocks in the households of small and marginal farmers, landless labourers, unorganised daily wage earners, destitute and vulnerable people in the villages and urban slums.
We are working in 12 drought prone districts of southern Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar and Ramnad. In these districts, our assessment shows that over 2500 poor and destitute households in the remote villages of these districts, are in dire need of food supply to fulfil their basic food requirements during unwaged days.
Out of these 2500 households, we have got assistance from other Philanthropic institutions and individuals to help 1000 families to arrange supplies for their basic food requirements.
With your support, we can assist the remaining 1500 families with dry groceries for a month worth of Rs 1500 each.
Bank Account Details:
Account holders name: The Covenant Centre for Development
Name of the bank: BANK OF INDIA
Branch: MADURAI BRANCH
Account number: 825010100012030
IFSC CODE: BKID0008250
Please reach us for more information:
V.K. Padmavathy, Executive Director – CCD -7871612736
P. Krishnamurthi, Programme Director, CCD –9443572724
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered corona virus, which has been declared as Pandemic by the World Health Organisation. This has become a serious public health emergency, endangered the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable communities. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The pandemic has rapidly covered the globe and threatening the entire humanity needing collective response to fight back. It necessitates every possible action that works to stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus. The Government of India, along with the State Governments have been taking multiple steps to prevent slipping into the phase of community spread, which will have serious ramifications on the lives of the vulnerable communities living in the urban slums and inaccessible rural areas.
The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) of our Indian Government has been advocating measures for enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times. The AYUSH Ministry has issued a health advisory to self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health.
The Siddha system of medicine is mainly practised in the Southern part of India. It is one of the earliest traditional medicine systems in the world which treats not only the body but also the mind and the soul. The word Siddha has its origin in the Tamil word Siddhi which means "an object to be attained" or "perfection" or "heavenly bliss". India being the birth place of many traditional philosophies also gave birth to Siddha. The roots of this system are intertwined with the culture of ancient Tamil civilization.
Siddha system of Medicine explains about 4448 diseases and all these diseases are caused due to alteration in three humors of body called Vatham, Pitham, and Kapham. Siddha promotes the concept that if one's immune system (3 humors) is strong and normal then even if the body is exposed to any microorganism, one will not be affected. During a pandemic or an epidemic attack, Siddha emphasizes on the resistance of people existing in regions affected by viruses. This medicine promotes the intake of decoctions to increase the immunity level of the people and to neutralize or normalize the 3-humors. The knowledge of Siddhars which was orally transmitted initially was later written in palm leaf manuscripts, fragments of which are found in many parts of South India. The methodology of siddha has helped decipher many causes of disorders and the formulation of curious remedies which sometimes have more than 250 ingredients.
The Covenant Centre for Development (CCD) began working with the communities involved in rain-fed farming the backward / climate vulnerable regions of the State of Tamil Nadu including the districts of Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Theni, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin. Rain-fed and dry-land farming is a major source of livelihood for the people living in these districts, which is highly dependent on seasonal rains. It works with over 25000 farm families in these 10 districts.
Since 1995, CCD has been working on medicinal plant conservation and revitalisation of local health traditions. It has partnered with Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, undertook a massive programme and scouted, documented and validated over 6000 local health practices of traditional healers. It resulted in formation of a State wide network of traditional healers, who come together for a week-long annual conclave at Madurai for the past 20 years. CCD works for preserving household healthcare remedies (Patti Vaidhyam) and the herbal based healthcare traditions (Nattuvaidhyam). In order to restore the lost legacy of such traditional wisdom, CCD has been working with the traditional healers from its inception, and those healers were organised into a specialized community organisation to revive and validate traditional practices by way of documentation and creating scientific evidence with the support of experts and organisations. Also, it works for promoting primary healthcare using the herbs and facilitates establishing herbal home garden in each of the member’s home.
The community platforms created in the form of Kalasam Women Federations and Farmer Producer Organisations in the working districts of CCD for embedding integrated community health programme focusing on child and adolescent health and nutrition improvement. It has named its health programme as ‘Nalam’, meaning ‘Wellbeing’. Going beyond setting up of nutrition and herbal home garden for ensuring availability of food and herbs with nutritional and therapeutic value at household level, CCD has started intervening through social and behaviour change communication, improving knowledge, attitude and practice of mothers towards their children and adolescent boys and girls. The core strategy is promoting convergence with the health department, and facilitating access to diagnostic and referral services.
Amidst the gloomy scenario of rapidly spreading COVID-19, preparing the communities that dependent on physical labour as the only means of earning their livelihoods is the need of the hour. With the needs expressed by the communities with whom CCD has been working, no cost interventions have been initiated through the village level volunteers, who are coordinating village level learning centres for students and health workers who are working among adolescent girls for anemia control programme. They are disseminating the advisories issued by the Department of Public Health for prevention among the neighbourhoods.
The health workers, volunteers and community leaders of CCD promoted community based organisations have been spearheading the community level awareness among the neighbourhoods without violating the norms of lock-down and social distancing. When the Department of Siddha Medicine in the State recommended herbal preparations for boosting the immunity of the public, CCD started its works in preparing one of the herbal remedies “Kaba Sura Kudineer”, a combination of 15 herbs in the form of decoction. The powder is prepared with the following herbs:
There are documented phyto-chemical constituents and pharmacological actions of the ingredients, which indicate that most of the herbs are having anti-inflammatory, Antipyretic, Analgesic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, Hepato-protective, anti-diabetic, anti-asthmatic, Anti-tussive, Immunomodulatory, anti-diarrheal and anti-oxidant activities.
With the recent impact of herbal remedies demonstrated for dengue and swine-flu, there is an increasing acceptance for the traditional medical system and their herbal / herb-mineral preparations are for various ailments becoming more popular. A lot of research articles confirm that these herbs posses’ effective anti-viral, anti-bacterial and commonly antimicrobial activity without causing any hepatic damage and renal damage. When comparing with the ethno pharmacological aspects of these ingredients with Siddha literature strongly indicates that the Kaba Sura Kudineer (KSK) prepared out of these drugs can reveal anti-viral, anti-allergic, anti-asthmatic & antipyretic activity with hepato-protective effect and serve as an excellent defensive as well as a healing one.
CCD has a processing facility at Sevaiyur, Virudhunagar District, wherein the herbal materials are processed and sent to various Siddha-Ayurveda Pharmaceuticals. CCD has dedicated this production facility to prepare the KSK and supply to the local communities in need.
CCD’s intervention design supplements with the measures taken up by the Government.
One of the core competencies of CCD is working on the production of medicinal plants, promoting backyard herbal gardens, processing and preparing herbal based medicines, working with the traditional healers and deciphering the medicinal formulations from ancient texts and traditional practices. Following strategies will be used:
In the short-term:
In the medium term:
In the long run: