Agape Life Line

Irular- Child Development

Irula is a native tribe that used to live in the forests of the mountains of south western India for a long time. “Irul” means darkness and in several respects their life was in darkness. They preferred to stay in small hutments and wait in ambush for rats and snakes and other animals in bushes be it day or night to make a killing for food and livelihood.  In the past century they slowly migrated down to the plains. Changing forest cover due to human greed and climate change   are cited as the main reason for their relocation.Now they live in small groups in settlements in different parts of the state and a few groups live in the outskirts of Padappai town.

Due to their past they do not mind living in poor unhygienic conditions. As they have to readjust to a totally new lifestyle, their income earning capacities are limited though some of them are engaged in odd jobs.  Their caste, habits and lifestyle are some of the reasons for them to be away   from the general public and as they are not serious about improving their life, the concessions and facilities given by the Government remain unutilized. About 90% of Children below 5 years are victims of malnutrition due to their lifestyle and meager income .They seldom go to a hospital or send their children to school as that has not become a part of their thinking. They are mostly ‘non-existent’ people who rarely register their birth, death or marriages.   Development may be still far away from them as they distance themselves from it.

Agape concentrates at a small cluster of eleven families and provides them with nutritious food such as  milk, bread, egg and a fruits, once a week. A barber is taken along to provide haircut whenever necessary as many have disheveled hair.  Blankets are   provided   in rainy and cold seasons. Repeated attempts are made to teach them hygiene, value of education to change their style of living and to improve their standards   so that they could be brought to the mainstream society some day.