"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy". – Rabindranath Tagore.
Nothing describes the life of Dr. Cletus Babu, the founder of Social Change and Development (SCAD) better than this quote. A priest who gave up his calling to plunge himself full time into the service of humanity is a heart-warming story.
SCAD located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, is a registered charitable organisation found in 1985 initially helping gypsies and leprosy patients. Today the organisation boasts of educational institutions that provide vocational education to rural youth and they serve over 500 villages in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts of Tamil Nadu. Their rural development model has a holistic approach, aiming to 'reach out the unreached' and help them stand on their own. 'Empowerment' is what they believe in and not just charity.
From gypsies, leprosy patients, the destitute and aged, differently abled, snake charmers, farmers, youth, children to women, SCAD has reached out to all. Their community projects involve helping women form self-help groups so that they gain confidence to avail micro-credit, educating villagers so that they understand issues affecting them, provide them with health facilities through mobile units, reach out to farmers through technology demonstrations to help increase farm productivity and encourage animal husbandry for extra income.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has awarded SCAD for the best functioning women's self-help groups and also for the best functioning women's federation. Dr. Cletus Babu was awarded the Best Social Entrepreneur for the year 2007 by the Prime Minister.
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