Help and support for the Adivasi

The Call of Sendhwa's Tribals

India's tribals live in the most desperate conditions on earth. The town of Sendhwa in Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by 153 tribal (Adivasi) villages, all of which lack basic amenities. Water is scarce, agricultural land is limited, and productivity is declining due to both natural soil degradation and the use of chemical fertilizers. The Adivasi are easily exploited, due to low literacy rates and lack of economic resources. Government schemes are mired in red tape and political opportunism that bars the truly needy from accessing support for development.

The St. Augustine Social Service Society invites you to join in our vital work among the Adivasi. We are committed to bringing about positive changes in the living conditions of all tribal people, especially in the lives of women and young girls. Ours is a visionary and sustained campaign, designed to introduce innovative strategies that cover the most vital areas of community development. Join us in answering the call of Sendhwa's tribals. Together we can change the future for thousands of the poorest families in Madhya Pradesh.


Fostering holistic health and harmony within and between individuals, communities, and the natural world.


The Community Health department uses an integrated and holistic approach to human health and social development. Our programming is focused in six areas:

  • Primary Health Care - Training of village health workers and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives.
  • Community Organizing - Awareness building and conscientisation to promote independent, community-directed health care, health education, and sustainable development.
  • Socio-Economic Intervention - Agriculturally-focused livelihood development in liaison with existing government programmes.
  • Capacitation of Community Animators - Mahila mandals, teachers, village health workers, school health programme leaders, guides for Child-to-Child Programme.
  • Linkages - Establishing partnerships that link the local population with Panchayath, Tahasil, Block, local primary health center, local and national banks, National Literacy Mission, and others.
  • Literacy - Non-Formal Schools, which use educated village members to teach both adults and children in the local setting.


Water for Life

Water is essential for survival. Water for Life focuses on clean drinking water for people and farm animals and irrigation for crops. The project recharges older wells, rehabilitates and conserves village ponds, and provides new wells. With each well comes water saving technology such as drip irrigation, using waste water for kitchen gardens, preserving and planting seeds for tree cover, fodder, fruits and vegetables. Land productivity improves, vegetation increases, and living conditions improve for the tribal poor. Support our work to bring water to the villages, saving lives and ensuring a better future for the Adivasi.

Empowering with Literacy

Literacy gives freedom and fosters self-worth. To counter the neglect and corruption rampant in government schools, we have trained a cadre of local tribal teachers who know the mother tongue, reside in the village and are always available to help the community. Co-curricular activities accompany academics and our teaching aids make learning simple. To date we have focused on women and children, and we hope to soon expand our programme to include illiterate men as well. Our village-based learning centres make quality education accessible to the poorest learner. Join in our efforts to spread knowledge.

New Deal for Leprosy Patients

We change leprosy form a scourge to a struggle for a better life. Ninety-eight leprosy-affected families have formed a community which is animated and empowered by our activists. Their needs for food, clothing and shelter are supplemented by our support. Education of the children is secured in hostels run in other towns and cities. This dynamic commune is home to 268 leprosy-affected individuals. Your support can make a radical difference.

Women's Income Generation for Independence and Self-Reliance

Women bear the greatest burden of poverty. We offer training in variety of Income Generation Programmes targeted to young girls and women: embroidery, tailoring and needle work; soap and detergents; candle making, preparation and sale of herbal medicine; pickle making, chicken rearing; vegetable gardens and seed collection. Animal husbandry is particularly encouraged as it improves family nutrition in addition to providing income. All vocational training is provided in partnership with the Alirajpur Technical Institute. We train villagers to operate credit unions and thereby avoid predatory money lenders. Will you help make this economic miracle possible?

Group Action for Economic Growth

Founded on the belief that only 'self-help' can be truly empowering, Self Help Savings Groups provide a supportive and safe space in which women develop confidence and a sense of self-worth. The women's savings are channelled into income generating projects, allowing them to gain economic power and become self-reliant. We provide training in group dynamics, simple book-keeping and leadership development. The group's unity and solidarity is expressed in common celebration of significant events. You can help us extend this important programme.

Formal Education and Vocational Training

The situation of people with physical and mental disabilities is especially dire. With the support of the Community Health Department, 83 children with disabilities are currently enrolled in school and doing well at their studies. Vocational training is provided, and a number of the older students have already begun Income Generating Projects, earning while studying. This programme ensures that formal education is accessible to the marginalized. Your support will open education to all.

Karuna Hospital

Karuna Hospital was started in 1978 as a simple dispensary. The need of the Adivasi led us to expand the dispensary into a 70-bed hospital, which now boasts a Maternity Ward, two Operating Theatres, a Paediatric Unit, Intensive Care (ICU), Dental Clinic, as well as Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy units. The hospital is well equipped with diagnostic facilities, including X-ray, Scanning and Pathology Laboratories. In order to widen our outreach, we have opened two satellite health sub-centers. To fully meet the medical needs of both the rural villagers and the poor residents of Sendhwa, we will need to add further facilities. Please help us ensure that medical care is accessible to all.

Auxiliary Nurses and Midwives (ANM) School

To facilitate Primary Health Care in the Adivasi villages, the training of women in our ANM School is vital. Each year girls hailing form rural backgrounds graduate from our School. These young women are now providing important health services for both the rural and urban poor. Particular effort is made to raise the awareness of these young women about community-directed health care. As these women come from the poorest families, training costs must often be subsidized. Will you support their training?

So come, be part of our struggle, help us answer the call of Sendhwa's tribals; we can change the lives of thousands of the poorest residents of Madhya Pradesh.


Sr. Selin Kavumkal
St. Augustine Social Service Society, c/o Karuna Hospital,
Sendhwa, Barwani (Dt.) Madhya Pradesh, India
Ph: +91 07281 222252, +91 9424049646


Your donation

So come, be part of our struggle, help us answer the call of Sendhwa's tribals; we can change the lives of thousands of the poorest residents of Madhya Pradesh.

Augustinerinnen e.V.
Bank: Sparkasse Köln Bonn
IBAN DE40370501980010612950
Keyword: Adivasi


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