December 9, 2015
The Native Medicare Charitable Trust (NMCT) was set up by the husband-wife duo of S. Sankaranarayanan in the year 1988 with the aim of supporting the weaker sections of the society especially the tribes.
This NGO is involved in a gamut of activities for the tribal people – from improving the financial well-being through activities like sheep and calf rearing, supporting HIV/AIDS infected people, empowering women to earn a living through tailoring skills, to providing a shelter for children who need a stable, caring and loving home. The trust operates two offices in Coimbatore – at Koundampalayam and Somayapalayam.
Irulas are one of the tribes the trust actively supports. Agriculture is one of their main occupations. “Originally, members of the Irula tribe are inhabitants of the Nilgiri Mountains. A lot of families have now settled in Coimbatore and depend on agriculture for a living. NMCT supports these farmers by providing them fruit tree saplings. The trust also educates the farmers on various techniques to increase their income,” B. Rajendran, Project Manager of NMCT, says. The trust currently supports hundreds of farmers of the Irula tribe.
NMCT is also involved in supporting the families of patients suffering from HIV/ AIDS. “The trust has identified a few hundred families who have lost their sole breadwinners to HIV/ AIDS. The widows and children (in some cases victims of HIV/ AIDS) of such families are supported by the trust. NMCT provides each of the families with monthly supplies of cooking essentials. The NMCT also helps these widows get the widow pension given by the Tamil Nadu government,” Rajendran says.
NMCT has also established 135 Silai schools (tailoring schools) in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Dhindugul, Karur, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Krishnagiri, and Dharmapuri districts in Tamil Nadu. The Silai School is a joint venture of NMCT and Usha International Ltd. This project was started in order to teach tailoring and other related activities to women and girls in tailoring and allied activities and make them financially self-reliant.