The rehab process of restoring livelihood was sought to be implemented through the help of local community members themselves. Our first rehab model in Chennai was implemented in Ambedkar Nagar at Adambakkam and the centre was named “Thalir”.
A steering committee of 5 leaders were elected by the community members to form The Ambedkar Welfare Group. This committee is our interface to implement all our activities and our mentorship. The committee operates a bank account with two of its members nominated to jointly.
In addition 3 Thrift groups, Malligai, Mullai and Roja of 15 members each was formed. Members were explained the rules of engagement and contribute a fixed amount to their group amount every month. They also entertain loan requests from their members, process them, do due diligence and decide on which loans should be given based on need, repayment capacity, and track record of the loan requester. Lokalex provides matching grants to match amounts contributed every month. Similar rehabilitation projects have been initiated in the localities of Pulianthope, Teynampet, and Taramani in Chennai.
Lokalex was approached by Dr. Girija a renounded Ayurvedic Doctor, to implement a health project to improve immunity in children. Children are given 200 ml milk mixed with Ayurvedic powder for 45 days. Each child’s symptomatic details were gathered prior to starting the project. After 6 weeks post project details will be gathered and matched to see if there is some improvement.
Milk Project at the Thalir Centre
During the month of May 2016, Lokalex conducted a summer camp and a health project to benefit the children of the community. 50 students between the age group of 3 – 15 were enrolled for the summer camp where Lokalex volunteers conducted activities for children along with a health project. Lokalex, along with Dr. Girija, a renowned Ayurvedic Doctor, conducted a health camp for children between the age groups 3 – 15 years, to help build immunity. For 45 days, milk mixed with Ayurvedic powders was distributed to the children. A summer camp was also conducted to keep the children occupied.
Two local volunteers were identified for buying milk and preparation of milk and were also paid a salary of Rs. 100 per day. The centre consisted of 50 children. 10 litres of milk mixed with Amukara Churnam and Loha Bhasmam was distributed. Dr. Girija and team have implemented this project at several other rural communities and have witnessed improvement in immunity levels of children.
The children would come in everyday (including Sundays), have milk and engage in summer camp activities. Lokalex organised workshops on origamy, bag making and small science experiments and also had young volunteers spend quality time with the children doing fun activities. Simple science experiments such as Chemical chameleon (oxidation reduction), Elephants toothpaste (decomposition reaction), Corn starch fire (surface area of reactant), Balloon experiments (pressure , polymer , water properties , stress , strain , tensile strength), Rocket balloon (Newton’s third law) Egg experiment (newtons 1st law), Artificial blood (double decomposition reaction) were conducted where children themselves were invloved in doing these experiments.
Impact of the milk program is that close to 60% of the children have gained weight and most of the mothers reported improved levels of appetite and that children are willingly consuming food. Lokalex if further looking at replicating this model at other communities.