Pudukkottai, the Chettinad district of TN was once ruled by the kings. When I entered the city, I was awe struck by the ancient buildings which now house courts, colleges etc. Painted an earthy red, these buildings definitely grab ones attention.
What also grabs one’s attention is the great work being done by CARD, which transforms the lives of thousands of people. Their work is incredible indeed.
Their building is hard to find as it is covered with trees. Fresh breeze everywhere cools the campus and the building is kept spotlessly clean. The campus doubles as a de-addiction centre and is truly relaxing. A small room at the entrance hosts supplies to be distributed to the girls and women.
Every year, CARD approaches government schools in and around their village and selects poor students whose family income is less than Rs. 1,000 per month. CARD provides them with school supplies such as books, pens, a school bag and supplies to maintain hygiene such as hand wash, soap etc. I happened to visit one of the areas where these girls reside. There are hardly any roads, barren land with few huts here and there. These girls come from a background of stone cutters, daily wages etc who don’t have a stable income and earn Rs. 100 or less per day.
A refugee camp where most of the widows reside is where CARD works and helps them by giving sarees, blankets, bedsheets etc.
Few women came to me and shared how they had only one saree and their kids had only one set of uniform to wear. It was most difficult for them as they had to think twice before even going to school. Sometimes the kids even missed their school due to the lack of uniforms.
CARD not only provides supplies to these kids and women but also stands by them during any trouble. It has become the go-to place for these families and they say they can come at any point of the day to talk and discuss anything with the faculty.