- End poverty through sustainable livelihood programs
- Fight for human rights and social justice
- Improve public health and education
Dalits live in small, palm leaf huts in settlements segregated from the main village. Snakes live in the palm leaf roofs and many people die of snake bites
These houses usually get destroyed by cyclones and fires. As they live in very unhygienic conditions, many people have also died of diseases like cholera and diarrhea.
NASA has been instrumental in many housing programs in collaboration with the state government, giving Dalits an idyllic place to live. The housing program has given marginalized Dalits status and identity. NASA villages have sprung up, and many now have kitchen gardens. The government provided internal roads, drinking water, community halls, and drainage.
In some villages the government even laid cement roads with jointly with NASA and village sanghams (associations). NASA and the government also provided support to the Dalits by constructing individual lavatories. So far, NASA has been involved in the construction of over 8,000 houses in collaboration with the government and other donor agencies. Each house given to a Dalit family costs about $1700: half is provided by NASA, half by a matching government grant.
Transformation of Nomad Communities – Before and after the intervention of NASA
New Life Colony – 21 houses constructed for the homeless
There are several nomad communities( castes ) lives in India. Their main profession is begging and doing menial jobs. Their literacy rate is not even 0.05. Their standard of living conditions are pathetic, un-hygienic and homeless. One of these nomad communities (snakers) were living in a corner of a college play ground in un-safe temporary tents. They were living mainly on begging and collecting leftout foods. Their grownup children used to show the Snakes and collect food or small money from the streets.
On an auspisious day the Director of NASA happened to meet and spend few hours with this community at their huts. It was a heart touching conversation. NASA’s community organisation team started working with them as to change their situation. In 2007 the government officials evacuated these people forcibly as to provide security for the landing of the Chief Minister’s Helicopter. NASA’s team and the people met the government officials and requested / demanded land for them to live. They were given house-sites on a hill in the outskirts of Tuni, close to the National Highway-5.
One day the Director while travelling saw the huts / tents on the hill and women carrying water with pots on heads from far away. Immediately, the Director went to their place and felt to provide their immediate needs. With the support of Wells for Life , NASA drilled a borewell and provided drinking water at the doorsteps.
NASA approached government to sanction housing scheme to build 21 houses. With general contributions from supporters, the beneficiaries and NASA worked very hard to complete the construction,. since the trucks could not reach to the top of the hill, they used to download the material in the near by land. Beneficiaries had to lift Bricks, Sand and all other building materials from down to up by carrying on their heads.
Cost variation : The Iron, Cement, Brick, Sand and other building materials costs were almost jumped three times.
On 23rd Feb 2009, we opened these houses. Now they have permanent houses and safe drinking water. Their children are going to the schools and we are working to stop them begging by providing loans through MACS for their livelihood programs (Petty trades). Government has sanctioned Rs.200,000 ($5000) for construction of Community Hall and NASA has to raise Rs.200,000 ($5000) to build this Community Hall.