Serene Secular Social Service Society –SSSSS with the great support of IDS and PRAXIS started the action research in two of the working villages at Emakkalapuram on the defects of alternative livelihood and Pungampadi on loan and debt. Action research group formation was the first and for most task for SSSSS which took more than 3 sittings in Emakkalapuram and 4 sittings in Pungampadi villages. As already SSSSS has formed several CBOs like CSG, JLG, AG, ABG, BLSC and CRC it took essential duration to define the members for this research group. The villagers especially with CSG and staff team came with the conclusion of forming the team with the essential members in which there are members from all cadres such as children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens at every level with gender perspective.
The monthly meetings of two villages were mandatorily held as per the convenience of the action research group members. As the members are from all cadres, Sunday was the convenient day for the meeting of this group which was helpful for engaging most of the members of the group. Pungampadi research group is still finding difficulties in taking initiatives on specific activities. They are wavering on each decisions that are made in the held meetings. They float on all kinds of livelihood options and unable to choose the right choice of business for overcoming their loan and debt. SSSSS needs longer duration for this group to take the right choice by the community since they don’t depend on themselves.
As per Emakkalapuram village, this group is very sensitive and started reserving when the group came to know the purpose of the research group was to reduce the number of workers going to the industries under slavery practices, therefore SSSSS took the different route to make them sensitized and to own the actions by themselves in looking into their basic issues of the village. The force of the action research group in this village was beyond our expectation that this action research group solved the issue of drinking water in making the BDO to take immediate action through the direct interaction with him in the union office. This group again took the serious issue of gutter water issue in demanding the municipality to do the cleaning every week without making stagnate in any places of the village. This group was dared to lock the panchayat office with the special lock on its non- functioning. The group has strong members to dialogue with the political leaders on demanding the need for the village. They are ready to share their responsibilities with effective members of the group with their own willingness. They have a strong determination of continuing their traditional livelihood of carpentry work and lock making for which Dindigul itself is specialized. SSSSS is in a position to lead the group as per their interest and need some more time to take this group into the real action on the adolescents going to the spinning mills. There are more than 190 adolescents and women going to the spinning mills as they have no alternative livelihood options.
Our interaction with the community always both ways learning, the guidance and support of IDS and PRAXIS made 5S to take additional effort of having the action research in 3 cluster that is out of 30 villages we do this action research in 6 villages as 5S feels as an important tool because in few of which we could see the strong force of members in demanding their rights as well as making the responsive stakeholders to do their obligations on the right time. The major challenge we do face is that the industrial income is the major source of income for all of the working villages therefore 5S is in a position to support them with the alternative livelihood. After fulfilling their important needs the group would certainly give heed to our voice of reducing the number of workers in the modern day slavery. SSSSS is very grateful to Freedom Fund, Geneva Global for proving such effective opportunity through IDS and PRAXIS for the change that is lasting with the withdrawal strategy.