Ilanthalir is a philanthropic organization started in 1997 to serve humanity with an option for the poor. Having inspired by Chiara Lubich and her Focolare Movement, Fr. Susai Alangaram with two other priests of the diocese of Tiruchirappalli pioneered this noble task with a ready support form AFN Azione per Famiglie Nuove, Rome who support ilanthalir through the programme of support at a distance.

The relevance and need

India is a country known for its plurality in religion, language, culture and tradition. The people of India take pride in its cultural heritage, traditions and unity. It is also a country taking prominence in the world, by its rapid growth and development in its economy. Yet it remains an eye sore to see the growing gap between the rich and the poor, as the wide between them increases day by day, in spite of the progress the country achieves. The rich become richer and the poor become poorer as equal opportunities are denied to the poor in the society. Ultimately the nation suffers even though it can present itself as growing and its rich men compete with the world’s greatest businessmen and industrialists. What India needs is a uniform growth and the empowerment of the poor and their youth. There are many voluntary organizations both in India and abroad, deeply involved and committed to alleviate this alarming reality of the Indian society. One such organization is Ilanthalir, working in the southern most part of India.

The etymology of “Ilanthalir”

Ilanthalir in Tamil language means “Tender Shoots” of a crop. It also stands for the young children in a society. As tender shoots of a crop need proper manure and care to have a rich yield, so also the tender shoots of the society need attention and support to realize their full potentials. The name suits well to the organization, as Ilanthalir commits to promise the young buds of the society their prosperous future.

Description of the Project area

Most of the villages in our service area consist of dry agricultural lands solely depending on monsoon for cultivation. The people living in these areas are most backward in all respects i.e. socially, economically and culturally. Most of the people are agricultural coolies. Due to frequent monsoon failure the agricultural operation often comes to a stand still and the people are thrown out of employment. There are no major industries in this area. Most people live below the poverty line. The parents because of their poverty prefer their children to feed cattle or work as domestic helpers instead of sending them to schools, resulting in illiteracy and child labour. In order to alleviate this social evil and help children and their families, Ilanthalir selects such children from these villages and educates them till they complete their university and technical training so that they are employed and settle down for a respectful life.

What we do

  • Identification of deserving children and creating centres of education
  • Finding funds for the education of such children.
  • Additional coaching for children through appointed tutors.
  • Helping them with educational materials and text books.
  • Providing them with uniforms and other clothes.
  • Taking care of food and other nourishment for the children.
  • Giving medical aid to individuals and arranging periodical medical camps at the centres.
  • Mediating between the children and the adopting parents by mails and letters.
  • Annual educational tours to places of Historical importance, places of worship and tourist spots.
  • Arranging monthly meeting of children and parents to review their progress in education and formation.
  • Celebrations on festive occasions and cultural events and competitions to exhibit and promote different talents among children.
  • Annual gatherings and regional meetings for more interaction and exposure.
  • Conducting specific courses like computer training and awareness programmes.
  • Encouraging them to go for small savings for higher education and managing the fund.
  • Creating and managing self help groups for parents.

Please note: The geolocalisation feature on this website – which displays cities and towns where Focolare centres are present – is only meant to be a guide. The markers on the map do not necessarily point to a specific address and they must not be relied on for navigational purposes.

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