Phone conference with Siddamma


25 March 2006                                                               Sanjeev Ranganathan

Bonded Laborers:

For SK Nagar, the released bonded laborer village, the Government has approved 72 houses @ Rs.32,000/house. However, the plan proposed for houses was quite temporary and we wanted the people to be able to make permanent homes of their own. The format of the houses we have in mind is similar to the Tsunami houses made from compressed mud bricks.


Jignesh and Siddamma met collector and shared the details of the plans for the house. He wants to work with them. He approved the funds to be used for this construction. The funds are, however, short of the Rs.48,000 required for the homes. When we made him aware of the resource center he was very happy and committed to provide the compressed mud block machines to the resource center so the bonded laborers can learn and make their own homes. They also discussed the idea of letting people own their houses. He volunteered time to discuss this further.


India Hero:

There was a call from US embassy, from the social action department. Apparently, each year the US embassy selects one person as a hero from the country, from India they have selected her. They have referred lot of asha website details. They want to get permission from us to reproduce it. UN report has also been referred. The idea of the award is also to provide access to the work of the person of each country to the other.


Tamil Dinakarn published an article about the ongoing struggle of the bounded laborers and Siddamma’s efforts. Following the article some of the owners have called and threatened her. But, there was also one who called and expressed his appreciation of her efforts.


Tsunami Displaced Irula community:

One Irula community was displaced from the Besant Nagar beach following the Tsunami. They have now been relocated to Tiruvallur and Action AID has provided temporary housing.