An NGO that teaches tribals how to market their crop better, plan for emergencies etc. , thus lessening their dependencies on natural forces
Not many things take you to Coimbatore. Located on the banks of the Noyyal River, the city is surrounded by the Western Ghats making its acres of coconut trees quite a sight for sore, city eyes. It was my visit to Native Medicare Charitable Trust (NMCT) that brought me here for the first time. Set up in 1988 by Mr. and Mrs. Sankaranarayanan, NMCT works for deprived communities, mainly tribals and Dalits. It was during their college days that they witnessed many incidents that made them realize that Tea-estate and Resort owners were clearly taking advantage of the tribals’ illiteracy. Moved by their plight, they decided to do something about it.
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How it all began
Native Medicare Charitable Trust (NMCT) is quite a misnomer for this Coimbatore-based organisation. However, its apt for when the organisation was setup – back in 1988, to carry out research and related activities on Alternate Medicines, Bio-diversity Conservation, Environmental Protection, Waste Management, and Forestry Seeds Collection organization of Adivasis in Tribal villages.
In 1986-87, Mr. Sankaranarayanan was studying “Ethnic Tribals and their traditional practices” at Coimbatore’s Bharathiar Unviersity. His interest in the same motivated him to go on and do a PHD in Alternative Medicine too. It was during the course of his PHD that he set up Native Medicare Charitable Trust, along with his wife Mrs. Seethalakshmi.
NMCT regularly receives volunteers from both India and abroad. They have received volunteers from organizations/educational institutions like Bridge Builders Programme (BBP) Germany, Evangelische Hochschule Darmstadt Germany, and Bharathiya University.
Volunteers primarily serve the children at their Abhaya Students Shelter, by helping them in their day-to-day activities. NMCT’s center is located 8km from the main city of Coimbatore. So, you would need to stay at NMCT for at least 2 weeks, to make your volunteering efforts worthwhile.
While here, you can help the children in their day-to-day activities. In addition, help improve their English-language skills, teach them extra skills like craft, drawing, computers, cycling etc.