Documents of ADATS - Book 3

3rd 3 year Consortium Application (Apr 2001)

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Background and Development Context of the Project: ADATS chose Bagepalli Taluk of Kolar District to begin its work in 1977. Initially, the emphasis was on observing the social relations and gaining an understanding of their developmental needs. It was seen that landed and landless labourer families, who contributed 50% of the population were the most disadvantaged and deprived.

The relations and obligations of the Coolies were determined by the caste system, under which their behaviour, livelihood and life depended upon the landlords and petty local chieftains — the Ryots. The predicament of the Coolies was exacerbated by their lack of unity, identity and Client status.

While Coolies worked for wages that were far below minimum wages, their children were prevented from enrolling in government schools, thus perpetuating poverty in conditions of acute social oppression.

Lack of education and social confidence meant that Coolies were unable to exercise their political rights, and were treated as guaranteed vote-banks of their respective landlords.

Development Goal: To ensure that Member Coolie families gain freedom from social oppression and realise a human identity, dignity and citizen status

Project Purpose: To unify the poor and build the structures and discipline of the Coolie Sangha at the Village, Cluster and Taluk levels