Madura Institute of Peace and Science (MIPS) -

April 1, 2001

Past Project Discussion

Harish Chawla


Madurai Institute of Peace and Science, founded in October 2nd, 1986 (Year of Peace, on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday), by a group of committed young peace activists and specialists in Gandhian Thought.  Located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.




Non formal education to dropout children

Health and family welfare programs

Women's development

Environmental activities


Vocational training

Science and technology projects

Food processing rural training centres

MIPS gave ASHA-Boston a project proposal in 1997 for Study centre for after school study of SC/ST landless argricultural laboureres.  Location of the study centres : Thirumalpuram, Alathur, Chichilluppai and Indiranagar Colony. 


Households of agricultural labourers are 1 room, poorly ventilated and illuminated, masked with carbon soots, crowded with people, children materials and in many cases with animals and birds.  This is an unsuitable environment for children to study after school hours.  One reason for the poor performance and drop out.


Parents do not have the time and energy to help the students and a long days work.


Most of the SC landless laborers are illiterate.


There is no common place or community hall where these children can study.


Would provide recreation facilities and the chances for the integrated child development through play, games, discussion, sharing, motivation and guidance.


The objective of the study centres were


To provide a suitable place with basic infrastructure for study for the disadvantaged children.

To provide assistance like tuition to children after school hours.

To provide moral support and motivation

To provide recreational facilities

To help children for integrated child development.

Health check ups and health education to children

Formation of mother's club and youth group as a support group.

101 children expected to benefit from the study centres and coaching.


Expected output of the project:


Increase interest and enthusiasm of school and education in children.

Involvement and participation of parents in the centre and children's education

Increase of students attendance to school

Improvement in the performance of studies.

Grant requested Rs. 1,29,680.00, 


Total budget of 1996 was Rs. 11 lakhs.  Central / State / Private funding.


MIT/Colorado/Seattle funded this project in 1997, all providing a one time funding, totaling the amount requested.  MIPS coordinators specified that the following year the program will be able to support itself, thus continuous funding is not required.  Details of how this will be done is not specified. 


A total of $3880 was given to MIPS in May 1997. 


Seattle funded $850


MIT / Colorado - contributed the difference.  I could not find exact amounts of MIT / Colorado funding.


Some statistics:


Total Number of children - 101


Total number of teachers - 12


Giri from ASHA Boston had made a site visit prior to the funding.


ASHA Boston and Amanda Bickel ( a volunteer with ASHA Boston, who had worked with MIPS in 1990 also) were satisfied and confident with the progress of the organization, and realized the importance of funding. 


As ASHA likes to provide the initial investment for starting educational programs, this seems to be a good project.  Unfortunately, no communication was kept up with MIPS since the funding completed.  No project reports were received, or site visits made, during or after the project. 


Some questions / issues that came up


development / sustainability issues?  MIPS had only asked for a one time funding, claiming they would be able to sustain themselves thereon.  How?


Should we learn more about them, find out how they were successful? Get some detailed information.


do we want to keep long term relations with MIPS, as their efforts are similar to what ASHA's perspective is..


Harish will contact MIPS via email, and find out more details about the project ASHA funded, and the organization in general.