MICDA Mathamma eradication project

Project Brief: Eradicating the Mathamma practice in the Madiga community through community education and awareness programmes
Project Type: Community Awareness Programs (description)
Primary Focus: girls (description)

Secondary Focus: children of sex workers

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Seattle
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Sunil Laxman
Project Partner(s): Srinivas Akula
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Mother India Community Development Association,,11-42, NGO,Puttur,
Tel: (91) - 98577 - 31782
Stewarding Chapter: Seattle
Aug 2004SeattleUSD 33500
Dec 2003SeattleUSD 41100

Total = $74600

To eliminate the Mathamma Practice prevalent in the scheduled caste Madiga community in 24 Mandals in Chittor
District of Andhra Pradesh. Mathammas are girl children who have been dedicated to Goddess Mathamma due to variety of reasons including strong religious beliefs, ignorance and encouragement. These girls are sexually abused from very young age (early teens). Almost all of them take to prostitution to survive and feed their children. Many of them are infected by sexually transmitted diseases and die very early (only 1% are above 45 years in the region).

The project will involve comprehensive (Madiga) community and pediatric health care programs, education of mathammas and awareness campaigns by a group of social workers, one per Mandal, covering 24 Mandals in the district.

The project duration is 2 years

1. To save the innocent girls of the Madiga community from this contemptuous evil;

2. To eradicate the superstitions, unscientific beliefs and myths promoting the Mathamma practice among the Madiga community by undertaking a comprehensive community organisation health, education and pediatric health care programme;

3. To eliminate the role of the traditional caste council (kula Panchayat) in promoting the mathamma practice and dances during festivals, etc., by undertaking social awareness campaigns.

4. To ensure effective implementation of the Mathamma prohibition Act with community support.

5. To facilitate and promote economic support programmes for the rehabilitation of Mathamma women and their children;

6. To facilitate and promote education and training of relatively young Mathamma women; and

7. To liase with the government for effective delivery of public serivces for the development of the Madiga community.
Organization description:

a.Registration:Registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860; Regd.No. 30/1987 dt.24.1.1987

b.Founder:Dr. R.Subbaramaiah

c.Objectives of MICDA

i. Empowerment of the poor in general and that of the scheduled castes (SCs), Scheduled tribes (STs) and women in particular through conscientization, organisation, social action, education and asset creation.

ii. Promotion of people?s participation in development efforts; and

iii. Provision of education, health, nutrition community services necessary for the development of the poor children, the disadvantaged and the aged.

In short, establishment of MICDA is an emotional response to the complex problems of poverty, powerlessness, lack of organisation, assetlessness, unemployment, malnutrition, ill-health, illiteracy and ignorance surrounding the vulnerable people in the drought prone Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is, infact, a response of a group of educated and service oriented people led by a medical doctor, namely, Dr.R. Subbaramaiah, Right from his student days, Dr. Subbaramaiah has been fighting for the rights of landless poor in the Puttur and Vadamalpet mandals of Chittoor District in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India. That relentless struggle for the landless, subjected Dr. Subbaramaiah to several harships including a series of court cases filed against him by the dominant caste groups. Dr. Subbaramaiah soon realised that a single individual had serious limitations in serving the poor and the landless. Therefore, Dr. Subbaramaiah, in association with a group of service oriented persons established MICDA in 1987.