Fellowship: Siddamma

Project Brief: Siddamma is working on creating a community resource center to document community based knowledge and provide a base for communities to test eco-friendly alternatives in agriculture, pottery, dairy, herbs and energy.
Project Type: Fellowships (description)
Primary Focus: creating resources (description)

Secondary Focus: vocational training

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Austin
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Sowmya Suryanarayanan
Project Partner(s): Siddamma E
Other Contacts: Vikram Iyengar
Project Address: , 184/14C-2 Jayanagar,,,,
TAMIL NADU 
Tel: 9884080048(C), 44-65519972(H)
Stewarding Chapter: Austin
Oct 2016AustinUSD 4542
Jun 2015AustinUSD 4788
Feb 2013AustinUSD 2000
Nov 2011AustinUSD 3519
Apr 2011AustinUSD 724
Feb 2011AustinUSD 66
Jun 2010AustinUSD 5135
Mar 2009AustinUSD 4710
Oct 2007AustinUSD 6000
Oct 2007NYC/NJUSD 4642
Oct 2006AustinUSD 2700
Dec 2005AustinUSD 1350
Jul 2005AustinUSD 1350
Jan 2005ToledoUSD 1000
Apr 2004Silicon ValleyUSD 1500

Total = $44026

Siddamma is a grassroots activist who has worked extensively with the Irula tribal communities. Her work is multi-faceted depending on the needs of the people. She has coordinated many motivational centers that makes learning fun and helps children integrate into the mainstream. She has also worked with the youth and organizing people and making them aware of their rights, e.g. understanding that laws exist for the people to earn minumum wages. More recently she has been instrumental in the release of bonded laborers from the rice mills in Red Hills (30 km from Chennai).

She is also working on creating a community resource center. The idea of the resource center to document community based knowledge. It also provides a platform to the community to try out for eco-friendly alternatives. One of the focus areas is the use of natural/organic cultivation systems and traditional seeds. The demo center would help communities experiment at the village level. Many of the old villagers feel that the young generation depend too much on pesticides and fertilizers and it would give them an opportunity to handle this through a demonstration of different techniques. Similarly, in agriculture the seed storage system is almost vanishing. The result of this is that many of the traditional seeds have disappeared and the mutated seeds have only a one cycle lifetime and can�t be reused. As a result the farmers are dependent on companies for even seeds. Agriculture is one focus; the second is pottery i.e. the use of earthen pots vs. plastic. The third is a dairy the village diaries are almost extinct. The fourth is weaving the fifth herbs/honey and gum that the tribal people obtain from forests and the sixth is renewable energy. The collapse of local economies increases dependence on outside products and since the purchasing power is much lower than cities this results in worse living conditions.

The resource center does not only serve as a laboratory for the villages, but also provides an opportunity to learn what we should be teaching our children. The center would double up as a fulltime school for children who have dropped out from the regular schooling system and can benefit from alternative education and vocational skills.
Siddamma is also the founder of Bharathi Trust which has done excellent community based initiatives for the Irula community. Bharathi Trust also initiated the unorganized workers union which is a people's movement of the poorest sections of the society.
Oct 2017 Site Visit Report
Oct 2017 Revised Fellowship Siddamma Proposal
Jun 2017 Fellowship Sidamma Proposal 2017
Aug 2016 Site Visit Report 2016
Aug 2016 Site Visit Report 2016
Jul 2016 Annual Progress Report
Dec 2014 Site Visit Report 2015
Dec 2014 Meeting Minutes 2014\-2015
Dec 2014 Proposal 2015
Dec 2014 Meeting Minutes 2014\-2015
Dec 2014 Meeting Minutes 2014-2015
Aug 2012 Emergency Support (August 2012)
Jul 2012 Site Visit : July 2012
Oct 2011 minutes august 2011
Mar 2011 Receipts (April 2009 - March 2010)
Mar 2011 Receipts for Fellows Conf 2010
May 2010 Fellowship Siddamma
May 2010 PollResults for Fellowship Approval
May 2010 RCUpdate_May2010
Apr 2010 Receipts April07 - March 2010
Jan 2010 SiteVisitrEPORT_Jan2010
Jan 2010 SiteVisitReport_Jan2010
Jan 2010 Update_SiddammaFellowship_Jan2010.txt
Jul 2009 AnnualReport08_09.pdf
Mar 2009 Minutes of Chapter Meeting (Vote) 22Feb2009
Feb 2009 Annual Review Presentation for 2008
Jan 2009 Annual Report April07 - March08
Jan 2009 Conf Call Minutes : Annual Review
Dec 2008 Looking into history of fellowship [Stewards Discussion]
Sep 2008 Meeting Siddamma at Resource Center (Report)
May 2008 Resource Center : Updates on Budget/Expenses of 2007-2008
May 2008 Resource Center Expense Report 2007-2008
Apr 2008 Resource Center : Budget April 2008- May 2009
Apr 2008 Resource Center : Budget April 2008- May 2009
Apr 2008 Resource Center : Budget April 2008- May 2009
Apr 2008 Resource Center : Budget April 2008- May 2009
Jan 2008 Conference Call Minutes, Jan 13
Dec 2007 Electricity needs of farmers - discussion and vote
Dec 2007 Gaurav's Site Vist to Resource Center
Nov 2007 Conference call minutes
Sep 2007 Synposis of Siddamma's US tour in Sep 2007
Sep 2007 Photos from Siddamma's US tour in 2007
Aug 2007 Estimated Budget 2007-08
Jul 2007 Annual Review
Jul 2007 Funds utilization and conference call
Jul 2007 Some research on organic vs conventional farming
Jun 2007 Experiences of Asha volunteer with organic farming
May 2007 Updates on Resource Center Budget/Expenses of 2007-2008
May 2007 Chennai Plus article on Siddamma
May 2007 US Dept of state report mentions Siddamma
Apr 2007 Conference call with Siddamma
Apr 2007 Anita's site visit
Mar 2007 Article in south asian about bharathi trust
Jan 2007 site visit
Jan 2007 Resource center video translation
Dec 2006 Brief Updates
Dec 2006 Updates from the Resource Center
Oct 2006 Election, South Pichavaram, Resource center update
Aug 2006 Resource Center Update
Aug 2006 Tsunami rehab & resource center update
Jul 2006 Bharathi Trust Annual Report 05-06
Jul 2006 Debate on Organic Farming
May 2006 Telecon with Siddamma
Apr 2006 Update: Resource center, Irula Convention
Apr 2006 Resource Center Estimated Budget
Apr 2006 Q&A: Resource Center
Mar 2006 Update: released laborers, tsunami efforts, resource center
Mar 2006 Update: homes bounded laborers
Feb 2006 Essay by Anita and Sanjeev on the resource center
Feb 2006 Presentation to the UN
Jan 2006 Pics: Bonded laborer village
Jan 2006 Siddamma's Visit to the US
Jan 2006 Photos: Sanjeev & Anita resource center visit
Dec 2005 Asha-Austin newsletter about Siddamma
Dec 2005 About Namalwar: Organic farming scientist
Oct 2005 Bharathi Trust receives award
Oct 2005 Resource center, bonded laborers
Oct 2005 Q & A about Sarpams and Alternate Occupations
Sep 2005 Updates Tsunami, Resource Center
Aug 2005 Resource Center Update - Talking to Muriel
Jul 2005 Update resource center & bonded laborers
Jun 2005 May 2005 Report
Jun 2005 Resource center land purchase
Jun 2005 Fellowship renewal presentation - Asha Austin
Jun 2005 Understanding resource center: Q & A (1)
Jun 2005 Fellowship Renewal Application
Jun 2005 Tsunami and bonded labor updates
May 2005 BBC report on bounded laborers
May 2005 Proposal for Resource Center
Apr 2005 Update of Siddamma's work in the last two yrs
Oct 2004 Information about bonded laborers
Apr 2002 Nomination of fellowship by Shanmuga (Princeton)
Apr 2002 Application of fellowship