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Indra   Ratna
HEKS’ partnership in India goes back to 1958. Over the years HEKS together with its Partners has been addressing critical issues on livelihood, land appropriation and development, Panchayat Raj, Gender and cultural affirmation, focusing specially on dalits, tribals, small and marginal farmers, landless agricultural labourers, kurubas (shepherd community) and in each and every one of these communities, it is the women who are playing a significant role in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programmes and projects.
Poor dalits, tribals and women, who are the people of concern of HEKS do not own, control and manage themselves as well as their resources. Through the ‘Food Sovereignty programme’, HEKS addresses the basic needs of the people, as the fundamental human rights problem. Thus HEKS India programme focuses on:
Restoring the dignity of the poor
Motivating and monitoring the poor to own, control and manage the resources (human and
natural) for the betterment of self, family and the community of today and tomorrow.
The main components of the ‘Food Sovereignty Programme’ are:
Building of Community Based Organizations specifically through
SHE, SHE-2, EDP and Youth programmes
SEASON, PULSE and SALT Programmes
The active participation in and usage of the Panchayat Raj system is the support action for both the components.
On 6th December 2000, when the women sangam members of CRWEL, one of the partner organizations of HEKS in India, were protesting under the leadership of Yasoda, in a peaceful way against the sale of illicit liquor at Bheemanthope village, Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, Indra aged 20, the daughter of Yasoda and Rathinammal aged 55, the sister of Yasoda, were killed ruthlessly by the illicit liquor vendors who hit them on their heads with logs and boulders. To commemorate the sacrifice of Indra and Ratna, who have laid their lives for a social cause, HEKS and its India Coordination Office along with it’s partner organizations initiated the Indra Ratna Trust The main activities of the Indra Ratna Trust is to give an award – ‘Indra Ratna Award’ to a woman at the grass root level or a group of women or to a women federation or to children for their heroic deeds in the field of community development. This award consists of a cash amount of Rs.50,000/-, a silver trophy and a citation. The Trust also organizes essay and drawing competitions in schools of any district in the Southern states and gives cash prizes to the winners at the school and district level.
The patron of the Indra Ratna Trust is Mr. Pieder A. Casura, Programme Manager - India & Bangladesh, HEKS Zurich.
The Trustees of the Indra Ratna Trust are:
Mr. G. C. Siluvai, Founder Trustee and Coordinator of the HEKS India programme
Mr. M. Sivakumar, Chartered Accountant
Mr. K. Shivakumar, Chartered Accountant
The Trust pays homage to its demised Trustee (late) Mrs. Yasoda, the mother of Indra.
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