The importance of CRUSADE’s work with the ultra poor is that, as in other societies, there are vulnerable people who cannot access the basics of life and who are condemned to a life of poverty relative to their closest economic neighbors. Those neighbors will not necessarily see the need to support these outsiders or, more probably, will not have the means to support these people. When you are outside of an economic system, even if that economic system is your nearby village, it is next to impossible to get into that system, without the provision of some basic capital. CRUSADE’s grassroots work addresses all of these different economic needs. It gives the poorest people economic independence, increased self-worth, dignity and better acceptance by the local community. Everyone has a right to a life free from the agony of extreme poverty. Poor people have the same desires for comfort and security as we do.

The poorest people are often those hardest to reach by virtue of the multiple and complex problems they face. That is why AVI has been supporting CRUSADE for over 20 years. CRUSADE works in Minjur and Sholavaram Blocks - Tamil Nadu, where one third of the population are landless agricultural laborers. 23% are Dalits (the bottom and poorest section of the Indian caste system), which is almost twice the national average. Increased mechanisation is reducing demand for labor and leaving them out of work for longer periods of time. As a result many men migrate to the city leaving the women to maintain the families. CRUSADE is dedicated to relieving the plight of these people who often live in a vicious cycle of poverty, extreme deprivation, the associated health problems of malnutrition, increased susceptibility to disease and early death.

Vandavasi and her goats
Crusade Case Study

Vandavasi is 68 years old. 
She has had a life of toil and is no longer able to labor the fields. Her grandson, who has learning difficulties, lives with her. Vandavasi receives a widow’s pension of Rs 1000 per month and her grandson awaits decision on his claim for disability allowance. 

CRUSADE arranged for Vandavasi to be given a female goat, which she treasured. The first litter produced four kids, which were too many for the size of the shelter she had, so, she sold one of them to build a bigger shelter. She is now confident that with her grandsons help, they will be able to rear goats and improve their income. CRUSADES’s support and assistance, affords benefits which go much further than just increasing the poor’s income. It often means that for the first time they can contribute to the family income, giving them economic independence, increasing their self-worth, dignity, and often resulting in better acceptance by the local community.

In its long experience of running self-help groups CRUSADE has identified groups of people who do not participate: the poorest, those living with disabilities and older women. These families often live in cramped, very poor, thatch and mud floor housing. During the monsoon rains these houses leak terribly leading to unhealthy and very uncomfortable living conditions. CRUSADE aims to improve their economic status and quality of life often by providing an asset such as a goat and/ or by carrying out housing repairs. The added benefit is that once families are identified they are encouraged and supported to apply for government schemes such as housing and pensions for widows and for those living with disabilities.

Your support can make a huge impact!

£12 pays for one health camp
£25 buys a locally reared, immunised goat
£60 pays for re-thatching the roof of a traditional village hut.

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£6 a month ensures that within a year, 12 people living with disabilities can get the support they need to apply for government support schemes.
£10 a month will contribute to rebuilding the houses of the poorest.

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Thank you for considering/supporting Crusade through Action Village India