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NIRDA - National Integrated Rural Development Agency is an Indian non-governmental organisation started in 1987 by Sheik Dawood S.


The National Integrated Rural Development Agency was established in 1987 by a group of students of Community Development.

The Two Year Post-Graduate study in Community Development at Gandhigram Rural Institute Deemed University and the field placement training in the Rural Areas and Developmental Departments enabled them to learn the techniques and strategies for rural development; as well as experience the problems faced by rural people and understand the developmental process in the departments and assess the gap between the two sectors people and developmental process.

To bridge the gap, promote people's participation, and to supplement and complement the developmental needs of the underprivileged, marginalized and minorities, they realized the need for the 'third sector' - 'NGO' and formed NIRDA.

NIRDA is registered as Trust at the Office of Sub-Registrar of Registration –Palani, Dindigul District as Registration No. 22/1987 dated 5th March 1987. The subsequent ‘Amendments and Supplements’ are registered at Sub-Registrar of Registration at Dindigul.

NIRDA is also registered with Ministry of Home Affairs – Government of India under FCRA [Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976]on: 17 -11 -1991

'The Vision:' Integration of rural and urban poor, under privileged, marginalized and minority communities into the over all Socio-Economic and Political Systems of the Indian Nation; so as to enable them to participate in the process of “Planning, Decision Making” and “Implementation of Developmental Programmes” and thereby establish and share their rights & responsibilities. NIRDA aims to supplement and complement the developmental needs of the nation and promote people's participation in the developmental efforts. It does do through the formation of community organisations such as Women Groups, Youth Clubs, Farmers' Forum.


To Supplement & Complement the Developmental needs of the Indian Nation-the individuals at the bottom. Enable them to organize themselves and actively participate in developmental efforts as their responsibility and thereby derive their rights in the public distribution. Hence increase their capacity as well as commitments to attain higher quality of life on sustainable basis. NIRDA promotes rights and responsibilities of individuals as citizens, proper use of the environment for sustainable living, and bringing technology to the common man.

The Philosophy behind efforts of NIRDA is that people should actively participate in the Developmental Process that should contribute for the formation of Socially Just and Equitable, Economically Progressive, Politically Empowered & Participatory and Environmentally Sustainable Society’. The underprivileged, marginalized, vulnerable and minority communities should be empowered to achieve ‘this Sustainable Society’ by means of peaceful education, communication and motivation. And it should be the imperative goal to promote the collective responsibility of the state, private sector, civil society and individuals- towards the achievement.

The efforts of NIRDA is to work towards sustainable development of underprivileged, marginalized, minority communities in the society- particularly the women, children, older persons, youth and the physically challenged, socially and economically secluded communities –the Dhaliths, Muslims and Christians by following a right based and empowerment approach in the fields of education, health, natural resource management, sustainable livelihoods and governance.

NIRDA planned to form Community Organisations within the Community through Awareness Generation Programmes. CAPART – Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology – an agency of Department of Rural Development – Government of India provided assistance to undertake 3 weeks ‘Social Animators Training Programme’ for 50 rural youth to function as Volunteers in their respective villages. They, after the training formed Youth Clubs and even to-day they function as contract persons and volunteers to NIRDA. 1987 - 2011

Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Board provided assistance to undertake “Awareness Generation Programme for the Rural and Poor Women”. 50 women from 25 villages in Athoor, Dindigul and Palani Panchayat Unions participated in the programme. 1987 - 1992

Mamacash – Foundation, The Netherlands provided assistance to form Women Groups through these trained women. 1992 – 1993. This support helped NIRDA to work with Women Groups in 10 Villages in Athoor Panchayat Union for about a year and equip them to assess their capacity and promote their ability for ‘self – realization’ ‘self-development’ and ‘self-initiative’ These efforts enable the groups to independently, which also attracted the other villages in the Panchayat Union and other Panchayats – Dindigul – Reddiyarchattram- Odenchattram and Palani

Working together with the rural community helped to assess the community needs and undertake need based programmes. The Social Animators Training Programme and Awareness Generation for Rural and Poor Women helped NIRDA to form Community Based Organisations, Youth Clubs, Women Groups, Farmers Associations, Labourers’ Associations and the leaders of these groups in turn formed and function as Team of Volunteers of NIRDA. They function as contact persons for collecting data and information regarding ‘community needs’.

NIRDA more over adopts the techniques of Participatory Rural Appraisal, Logical Frame Work Approach among the community directly for assessing the needs of the community and prepare the community for community action.

NIRDA to activate the Women Groups to over come their poverty, create capital for their income generation activities, first formed – SSPS: Small Savings Promotive Scheme in 1990 before the concept development of Self Help Groups with a view to develop the habit of ‘Savings’ and utilized the ‘Group Savings’ for issuing ‘Credit to the Members within the Groups’. This programme was carried out from1993 to 1998. One of the nodal agency of RMK in Dharmapuri - REDO provided the opportunity to adopt the ‘Self Help Group’ concept among the women groups formed in the villages. RMK – Rashtria Mahila Kosh [National Women Fund], an agency of Department of Women Development, Government of India provided assistance to introduce the concept of Self Help Group among the women groups and form Self Help Groups. Right Sharing of World Resource – USA came forward to form Federation among the Self Help Groups and a Federation – Muthukuvial is formed [Peal of Pearls]. Now the SHGs are functioning independently as they linked with the Nationalized and Cooperative Banks.

Open defecation is great a menace for environmental sanitation and community health in the rural areas. It causes for endemic diseases in the local areas and often for the spread of epidemic.

NIRDA with the assistance and support of The Consulate General, Federal Republic of Germany – Chennai constructed 10 seated Community Toilet at Separate – Sithayan Kottai. RTU – Reaching The Un-reached – a Voluntary Organisation came forward to dig bore well and fix hand pump for the Community Toilet.

Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology provided assistance to undertake orientation training to the community for the proper use of the Community Toilet. Non – Formal Education for the Working Children:

The rural poverty in 1980s and 1990s are more acute. To meet the family needs, not only the parents but also the children have work and earn the money for their bread.

NIRDA had undertaken a study of the ‘Behaviors of the Working Children’ in Athoor Panchayat Union. Even though the parents were eager to send the children to schools, in times of need they ask the children to go for work, but due to peer group attraction these children continue their wage earning process rather than go to school. The vicious circle of poverty as it exits in the family, the rural children are unable to break and join in the main streams of life – the school education. To contribute to the family needs they have to undertake income generating ventures at their tender age. But in course of time, as they become the master of their own earnings, they provide less to the family spend more for cinema and hotels. As the prohibition is lifted certain grown up children were trying for alcohol.

Reproductive Health Care: The rural communities give least care to the reproductive and sexual health and hygiene. To inculcate the ‘Personal Health and Hygiene’ Menstrual Health and Hygiene and alleviate the prevailing myth and conception, NIRDA with the assistance and support of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India through MNGO – GIRH&FWT had undertaken ‘Family Life Education Programme for the Adolescents in Palani – Dindigul District. The project helped to identify the problem of RTI [Reproductive Tract Infection] – STI [Sexually Transmitted Infections] – HIV/AIDS in the service areas. As most of the people migrated to urban and act as carrier for infection transmission, NIRDA undertaken programme at Chennai – the capital city of Tamil Nadu.

Coordination with CAPACS: NIRDA in coordination with CAPACS – Chennai AIDS Prevention and Control Society – Chennai Corporation has undertaken the Target Intervention Programme among the Porters – the Migrant Workers in Koeymbadu Market, Central and Egmore Railway Stations and Port. Net Work Programmes: NIRDA joined as active member in the net work –Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association – TNVHA. TNVHA nominated NIRDA as the District Facilitating Centre for Prevention and Control of Anemia and Malnutrition in Dindigul District.

NIRDA in coordination with local NGOs had undertaken a Research cum Action Programme on Prevention of Anemia and promotion of health education.

TNVHA – CA – EJAF AIDS Project: NIRDA joined in hand with TNVHA – CA –EJAF [CA –Christian Aid, EJAF – Elton John AIDS Foundation] efforts on Elimination of Stigma and Discrimination on HIV/AIDS in Tamil Nadu. NIRDA works in Palani Region on this cause.

NIRDA, thus with the assistance and support of Central & State Governments and International Developmental Agencies, is undertaking programmes and projects in different parts of Tamil Nadu based on the local needs, problems and demands.

Family Life Education: Preparing individuals and families for the roles and responsibilities of family living is not new; in the traditional society, it is through the process of socialization and internalization of the individuals in the family life.

As the knowledge of human development, interpersonal relationships, and family living is not innate, societies developed ways to transmit the wisdom and the experience of family living from one generation to succeeding ones.

It is reflected in the customs, norms, mores, and values of the community. It is transmitted through formal means such as rituals or initiation rites at child birth, puberty, marriage, etc. As societies changes this pattern of informal learning becomes inadequate. The development of new knowledge, advances in technology, and changing social and economic conditions create situations where the teachings of previous generations are no longer appropriate or sufficient.

Changes in the structure and size of the family, roles of women commonly resulted in difficulties and problems including increased parent-child strife, juvenile delinquency, shifts in marital roles, and increased divorce rate.

In these circumstances, societies must find or create new ways to prepare individuals for their family roles and responsibilities.

One of these new ways is family life education aiming to ameliorate or reduce the family-related problems and improve family living and social well-being.

National Green Corps (Eco-clubs) is the ambitious Program of Ministry of Environment & Forests – Government of India aimed at spreading environmental awareness among school children and involves them in environment related activities.

NIRDA is nominated as the District Coordinating Agency for the implementation of NGC in 150 Schools in Dindigul Educational District by Department of Environment– Tamil Nadu.

No. Project Period Activities

1 NGC – National Green Corps in Schools in Dindigul District From 2000 On going

 Formation of NGC Units in Schools in DindigulDistrict. Training, Monitoring and Evaluation.

2 Social Animators Training Programme Supported by CAPART – New Delhi 1992 Training

 Program for the Rural Youth to function as Animators/Volunteers in the Rural Areas.kill 
 Development Programmes. Prevention of Child Marriage and Promotion Reproductive and Sexual 

3 Awareness Generation Programme for Rural and Women Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Board - 1993

 Training to the Rural Women to Form Women Groups.

4 Awareness Generation cum Group Formation among Rural Women Mamacash Foundation –

 The Netherlands 1994	Formation of Women Groups in the Rural Areas in Dindigul 

5 Integrated Low-Cost Sanitation cum Scavengers Rehabilitation Program in the Municipal Areas

 and Corporations -Commissioner of Municipal Administration – Tamil Nadu.1994	Rehabilitation 
 of Scavengers and construction of individual house hold toilet constructions.

6 Science Popularization and Awareness Program.Tamil Nadu Council for Science and Technology.

  1995	Community Health and Hygiene. 

7 Construction of Low Cost Sanitary Community Latrine at Sedapatti – Sithayan Kottai. Consulate

 General of Germen Embassy - Chennai	1995	Community Toilet.

8 Legal Literacy Training Program National Legal Service Authority - Chennai 1996 Legal

 Literacy Training for the Youth Volunteers.

9 Integrated Approach for Elimination of Child Labour and Non-Formal Education for Working

 Children.SKN – The Netherlands.	1996-1999	

10. NEAC - National Environmental Awareness Campaign - Ministry of Environment & Forests

  Govt.of India. Implementing since 1986

11.Integrated Age Care Service Programme: Income Generation for the Elders. Help Age India.

12.Adolescent Reproductive Health Care and Services.Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

12 Targeted Intervention among High Risk Groups – Porters at Chennai NACO – CAPACS – Chennai

13 Elimination of Stigma and Discrimination among HIV/AIDS Patients – Elton John AIDS

  Foundation & TNVHA

14 Action Research on Prevention and Control of Anemia and Malnutrition among women in Dindigul


15 Family Life Education for the Young Generation

External links