Thirumamadasamy’s Resilience Against Adversity

Being the firstborn, Thirumamadasamy bore the responsibility of caring for his siblings while his mother toiled in the salt pans. This coupled with the absence of proper roads and transport facilities added to his hesitation to pursue an education.

He soon turned to fishing, net knitting, and cleaning work to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the company he kept during these jobs introduced him to bad habits. This further distanced him from the prospect of a better future.

It was during this difficult period that the Rural Welfare and Development Society (RWDS) intervened. Recognizing the potential for positive change, they engaged his parents in discussions and devised a plan for his re enrollment in school.

RWDS initiated continuous counseling sessions through child helplines, aiming to help him overcome his addictions too. He was hesitant at first but with his newfound determination he returned to school. Now in the 9th standard, he attends regularly, empowered by a network of support.

One of the key problems of Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu is the high number of child laborers. The reasons being, lack of livelihood opportunities, indebtedness, door pick up for child laborers working in salt pans and seafood processing units, no access to schools, increasing private schools, etc. In addition to it, high cost for transport adds on to the severity of the problem that children and communities face.

CRY America’s Project RWDS works towards focussing engagement in ensuring increased retention of school going children from 70% to 80% and ensuring physical access to schools, infrastructure & quality within schools & ICDS centers, increasing child participation. The key activities under the project are supporting groups formed in all 52 villages comprising community volunteers, AWW, local youth and panchayat members, ensuring regular administration of immunization, initiating supplementary classes in 5 villages and preventing increase in dropout rates in school due to the pandemic.


children enrolled in to school.


dropouts and irregular children re-enrolled in school


Supplementary Class for 65 children


Child Labor removed from labor and re-enrolled


Children and Adolescent Girls Collective meetings held where 1312 participated


children cleared their 10th grade exams


children cleared their 12th grade exams

● Base line data collection in 10 villages in Vilathikulam block and build rapport with the community.
● Re-enrolling 20 dropouts in schools
● Engage with community, motivating them to be part of 20 SMCs
● Support children through supplementary classes in at least 6 villages
● Re-enroll 36 child labourers in schools
● Organize life skill sessions for 54 collectives
● Organize life skill sessions for 200 Parents of the children in the collectives to help them support and understand their children
● Organize sessions and strengthening of the existing 5 Adolescent boys Collectives

2023 Grant Disbursed $39,172