CSSS Services

  • GENDER MAINSTREAMING

CSSS is one among the early organizations who recognized the inner strength of the women and their urge for development. Quarter of a century has passed now since the Society started organizing women for development action by being primary agents and planning subjects in the community, simultaneously, realizing their worth as full-fledged individuals enjoying equal rights and opportunities. Over the years, the Women Integrated Development Societies (WIDS) in the villages functioning under the auspices of CSSS have gained identity and popularity as the Community Based Organizations (CBO) to address all the local needs of the people joining hands with the Local Self Government Institutions (LSGI) and other public services organizations. In fact, the statutory people’s planning forums under the LSGI has in majority WIDS members and as such they prevail upon the decisions as well as plans formulated and executed under these statutory bodies.

    • Women’s Organization For Development

Like in the previous years, women continued as the major clientele of the Society with more than 40000 women duly empowered and participated in the comprehensive village development processes both as primary agents and planning subjects. The last three years experienced high degree of consolidation and stabilization both at the structural and program levels of the Women’s Integrated Development Societies (WIDS) through which CSSS mainly operates in the villages. In this respect, 51 WIDS village units remain federated under the auspices of the Diocesan Social Service Society.  It is a matter of great pride that all these village societies of women have achieved fair degree of operational and financial self reliance by the end of the reporting period.
Legitimizing WIDS as the official community based village organizations of CSSS, the central team of the Society has always stood in close accompaniment with the conduct of it by way of regularly being present in the monthly meetings and program related activities by rendering   proper guidance and the needed support.  Over and above, the Society has been organizing and conducting regular trainings, seminars and workshops on  various HRD topics,  group dynamics, leadership development, PRI and people’s planning, PME and, of course, current issues.  The table given below contains statistics of the capacity building programs conducted for WIDS during the period.


HRD Program

No of programs

No of Participants

Central/Zonal workshop

104

7636

Village Seminars

71

6215

Issue based special trainings

173

11027

Total

348

24878

WIDS now crossing bi-decennial mark since inception and having attained fair degree of organizational strength with a mass base, time is ripe for these community based organizations to involve meaningfully in larger social issues and become a powerful influence in the local self governance. It would appear that CSSS has to pass on to the next stage of animation paving way for the emergence of a more potential leadership which could perceive and handle local issues in proper configuration of its macro perspectives. 

    • Micro Finance & Women’s Entrepreneurship

It may be informed that CSSS has been following a multi tier Micro Finance Operation system through the people’s co-operative bodies of CU and SHG, both complimenting each other in as much as majority of the women hold multi stake in both the micro finance entities functioning under the aegis of WIDS at the village level and CSSS at the apex level.
There are 723 women SHG’s functioning under the operational area of CSSS. It may be noted that in addition to the number of SHG’s, there are other sections of occupational specific SHGs also have been operational under CSSS in the fisheries and rural coir sectors, the particulars of which can be had from the respective programs specific reporting in the ensuing chapters.

    • CSSS Employment Undertakings (Lisa Electronics)

In the early years the Cochin Social Service Society had been giving overwhelming importance in generating employment by starting and running industrial/manufacturing units. A decade and a half ago there were more than a dozen such units functioning under the direct management of the Society, to name some of those:  Jubilee Engineering Industrials, Jubilee Automobile workshop, Aroma Curry powder units, Jubilee Oil Mill Industries, Jubilee Garments, Techno Craft, Fish processing unit, etc. In the later years, as a matter of policy CSSS drifted away from the centralized pattern of conducting employment schemes with the thrust switched over to people owned and managed enterprises coinciding with the promotion of community based organisation – WIDS and Self Help Groups. 
Notwithstanding, there is a single unit named LISA Electronics is still in vogue with CSSS playing a major role in it. The unit started in 2000 with CSSS making the initial capital investment and is located at Neendakara, Alleppey District manufactures electronic voltage stabilizers with the technical collaboration and market support of V-Guard Industries and is managed by registered women society “Ladies In Social Action” under the guidance of CSSS.  Presently 35 girls are working in this unit providing for an annual turnover of over Rs. 20 million per annum.

    • Formation Of WIDS Youth Wing

It has been widely noticed that young women in the village communities rather shy away from the organizational dynamics as well as undertakings of WIDS.  Perhaps, in the fast moving society with science & modern technology at the helm of affairs, the emerging may not be finding many things attractive in the content and mode of functioning of WIDS as it is now.  But, CSSS insist upon an inclusive approach in community development in which the youngsters should remain fully involved by discharging specific responsibilities.  We definitely want them to assume leadership positions in the community to the extent of getting elected in local self Government Institutions and creatively involving in the socio-political processes. It is in this context that separate youth wing is envisaged and to have appropriate motivational and capacity enhancement programs for the youth groups that go attuned with their educational background, globalized thinking pattern, intellectual attributes, emerging social realities, gender rights, etc.

    • Life Skill Development For Young Women

It is a program intended to mould the women having updated skills and functional knowledge in order to manage the household efficiently.  This would primarily involve bringing forth women to the horizons of appropriate technology, home sciences including health care, domestic crafts, home economics, etc.  The scope of the life skill is also envisaged to encompass fields of employment/ income generation through flexi time and flexi duration undertakings and efficient micro credit management.  A comprehensive syllabus and informal learning schedule is planned under the program with the WIDS conducting the classes locally with practical lessons given due importance. 

    • Enterpreneurship Innovation & Training

Of course, CSSS has been following the path of entrepreneurship promotion ever since WIDS entered into savings schemes and micro finance management. In this specific context, the scheme envisaged on a higher grade intended for the youth wing members in a professionally structured manner in keeping with the standards set by the Govt Industries Departments. As all of us know the state govt has made special budgetary provisions and accessible linkages for skill training and CSSS intends to proceed with the matter making best use of the govt support systems.

    • KSBCDC Linked Micro Finance & Women Enterprises

Micro finance managed by credit unions under WIDS has contributed significantly to the livelihood development and financial security of the families as the result of the untiring promotional, monitoring and co-financing services provided by CSSS.  A desirable system of people’s banking has spread roots and is in a position to go in for larger volume of micro finance operations and investment schemes. To enable the same, CSSS has established links with bulk lending sources like Kerala State Backward classes Development Corporation and negotiations are progressing with regard to final sanction of bulk finance for the entrepreneur groups of women.  Once we have this facility established very soon on a long term basis, we consider it imperative to chalk out more innovative and profit assured group schemes and accordingly the Jubilee year ahead shall be devoted for such skills/entrepreneurship training other than excellent micro finance/financial management practices.

 

  • MICRO INSURANCE

As all of us know, Insurance Sector is yet to make inroads into the life of the people especially in the backward areas of rural Cochin.  Over the last few years, CSSS has put up relentless efforts in establishing entitlements of unorganized workers for statutory welfare funds.  Similarly, the Society is now afoot in acceding provisions of various Insurance schemes for the target population so that their life would be better secure. In this respect, the Society has already concluded negotiations with LIC and is at the launching pad of a novel scheme called Jeevan Madhur which is an NGO collaborated plan.  Similarly, in the medical and other essential aspects of life, CSSS has plans ahead to negotiate and implement suitable Insurance schemes by acting as liaison as intermediary between the communities and the Govt. approved agencies.

 

  • INTEGRATED CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT

In essence, the child centered programs of the Society envisages full blossoming and integration thoroughly rooted in the family as well as embedded with the social environment. Already the Society conducts general and special programs in which Children’s Development Clubs (CDC) find place in the first category with 20 CDC already existing in the parish-based prime villages. CSSS Child sponsorship comes under the preview of special category program under which the children are regularly supported for education, healthcare, food and nutrition, habitat development and sanitation, income generation program for the families concerned, etc. At this juncture, the Society is duty bound to state the names of Sunshine, Leonardo and Kinderhilfe groups for the ardent support they have been extending for the cause of the children through organized sponsorship program. CSSS has on anvil new strategies and schemes for educational excellence, talent search cum development, career orientation, formative disciplines, leadership, etc. in the general category apart from enhancing the scope of the ongoing sponsorship programs.

    • Child Sponsorship

The ardent concern of the Society for unfortunate children is manifested through a systematic child sponsorship program. In this respect it needs to be mentioned here that not less than half of the children inhabiting the coastal areas and inlands of west Cochin is negated of normal childhood under conditions of abject poverty and being subjected different forms of deprivation. The program conceived by CSSS in 1994 and successfully put underway ever since has at present 373 children on the rolls. The program envisages the integral development of the child in a proper family environment with special importance given for physical and intellectual/ educational spheres of growth and development in the overall perspective that necessarily encompass the cultural, moral  and spiritual aspects of life. The tenure of sponsorship support is normally 10 years right from the child getting enrolled in the school. All key aspects of child welfare & development such as education, talent based skill development, spiritual growth, food & nutrition, health care, housing, sanitation, income generation scheme for the family, etc. come directly under the purview of the support system/intervention. The important activities underlining the above may be specified as: monthly distribution of food materials, routine medical check-up, educational assistance, construction/repair of houses and sanitation structures, IGP schemes for mothers and creating bank deposits for future education/settlement of the children.
During the one year period under review a total sum of Rs. 4,800,729 was received from different sponsors and duly channelled through CSSS by way of cash, materials and services as stated above. In other words, the individual receipts of assistance work out to more than Rs 12870 per child. By way of placing the four different names under which the sponsorship program is operated, they Sunshine, Leonardo, Kinderhilfe and Wolffgang & Mayer family among which the first stands as the premier one with 311 sponsored children. CSSS consider it pertinent to include the names of the organizations/persons abroad working behind the program with sense of empathy as Sunshine Onlus - Antonetta pizzati, Kinderhilfe - Monica Kiesewetter  Progetto Leonardo Onlus- Stella Picca & Laura Rocco and Wolfgang - Mayer family.

      • Sunshine Child Sponsorship Program:

Mrs. Antonella Pizzatti, the chief functionary of SUNSHINE ONLUS got particularly interested in the children’s sponsorship programme carried out by the Society and she financially assists children belonging to financially poor and suffering families and subsidizing their expenses on education, health care,housing, sanitation and other essential family matters relevant to them.
This program started in 1998  and  in 2012-2013 has 324 children.  The age limit of this support is from 4 to 18 years.  The financial support of this program was sponsored by an Italian organization named Sunshine Onlus through Ms. Antonella Pizzati.  The sunshine Onlus collected this sponsorship amount from 318 Sponsors. We have received this support from Sunshine Onlus twice in an year by NEFT bank transfer.  We have started SB Accounts for each sponsored children in SIB  and this amount was credited to their own accounts.
The sponsored children come to the CSSS office and collect money from their bank account for purchasing food materials like  Rice, Rice Powder, sugar,  dhal,  chilly power,  tea dust,  Bath soap , paste , Washing soap,  tuition fees etc. In case there are no urgent needs anticipated, amount accumulated over a specified period may be allowed to invest in long term bank deposits so as to earn higher rates of interests together with which they could use the amount towards meeting future expenses of higher education, life saving medical treatment/surgical correction etc.             
From time to time withdrawn the amount from bank for school re-opeing expenses like school uniform, bags, umbrellas, books, tuition fees, etc. we have arranged celebrations in Onam and Christmas.  During this celebration we have conducted various cultural programs for children to develop their talents.  In summer vacation we have arranged 5 days vacation camp.  In this camp we gave classes for carrier guidance, skill development, leadership and spiritual development. In collaboration with Fatima Hospital, Perumpadappu, we arranged medical check up twice in a year for the protection of their health. Children wrote letters for their sponsors once in a year (December).  Children’s photos are sent to their sponsors twice in a year.  Some sponsors visit to see their children in their home and they take children for outing.

      • Leonardo, Kinderhilfe and Kuenst & Mayer Fam . Child Sponsorship Program:

Three other program sponsors, namely, Projetto Leonardo, Kinderhilfe and Kuenst & Mayer Fam. though lesser in number of children assisted, have played equally important roles for children development.  Leonardo sponsorship program is organized by Ms. Laura Rocca and Ms. Stella Picca from Italy.  They have given help for 33 children.  Kinderhilfe program is organized by Ms. Monika from Germany.  This help is given for 22 children.  Kuenst & Mayer Fam. Have given help for 7 children. This program is organised by the family members of Mrs and Mr. Wolfgang. All three sponsors visit their children once in a year.
The sponsorship programme has essentially promoted children’s education and health, contributing normal childhood activities along with improved family situations. In curriculum and in general performance in the schools, the sponsored children have registered remarkable improvements. Further, financial tensions and psychological stresses have been considerably eased out from the families, the parents duly capacitated to remain meaningfully engaged including in the socio political processes. )

    • Children’s Development Clubs

CSSS runs community based children’s development program and in this respect, 28 Children’s Development Clubs (CDC) were established  in selected villages with more than 2500 children participating in it and getting shaped as responsible children with leadership qualities. All the CDCs have libraries attached with it having in stock selected books recommended by experts in the field. In essence, the child centered program envisages consistent growth and development of the children in befitting family and social environment. Of late a new dimension has been added to the program by launching ‘child parliaments’ in order to impart democratic values, cultivate political consciousness, develop leadership qualities, and over and above mainstream them into socio-political process.  The Society envisages to concentrate more in the formation and development of the children by giving new ideas, inputs as well as broad basing the program.

    • Child Parliament: Socio-Political Leadership Orientation

In essence, it is a children centered program, which envisages healthy formation and development of the children attuned with the socio-political and democratic life and aspirations of the society.   The program has already been launched under the banner,  ‘child parliament’ with monthly get together of children organized village wise and live demonstration sessions arranged  in order to impart and inculcate democratic values, political consciousness, leadership qualities, and over and above mainstream them into socio-political process. Holding mock parliament sessions of the children under able guidance of CSSS Co-oridnators and  the members of Local Self Governments would underline essential feature of the program.

 

  • SAVE A FAMILY PLAN (SAFP)

Save A Family Program ( SAFP ) is  family centred sponsorship program of  CSSS intact from the year 1977 with a cumulative total of 2450 very poor families supported so far financially, emotionally and physically in order to come out of their distressed predicament and get into the mainstream of social life. To be specific, the program aims at enabling the poorest of the poor   families for their overall development by keeping in place economic and social development initiatives for them to lead normal life.  310 sponsored families have been there on the rolls during the year 2013 as Regular Beneficiary families under an efficient program monitoring system duly facilitated by the professional team of Save A family Plan India, the national coordinating agency for the program. It may be informed that on the part of CSSS it has ensured that all the families transformed as active members of WIDS as well as Credit Union and SHG functioning as integral part of the system so that the money received from the sponsors not only judicially spent/invested but also the families become part and parcel of a long term development plan/ process under which the eventual withdrawal of the sponsorship support would not adversely affect much their normal life. Invariably all the families being assisted through the program have started one on the other kind of income generation schemes.
The Society did ensure that each and every family included in the Save A Family Program necessarily passed through the following processes: baseline data & problem tree analysis, family level planning, formation and functioning of Family Facilitation Team and Family Action Teams, capacity building exercises, implementation of income generation program and monitoring schedules as per the stipulations. The duration of ongoing assistance is scheduled for six years for the sponsored family. However, the long term program supported and facilitated by SAVE A Family Plan Canada and India do have families going out and newly entering in every passing year with the total number of beneficiaries getting added up. For the operational convenience of the SAFP the diocesan area is divided into three regions namely, Kochi (15 parishes), Kumbalanghi (14 parishes) and Alapuzha (10 parishes) and each of which entrusted with separate animators.

 

  • COMMUNITY MANAGED DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (CMDRR)

The post Tsunami era has drawn several NGOs in Kerala towards formulating Disaster Management strategies and ecological protection programs, especially those operating in environmentally sensitive and ecologically fragile areas.  CSSS is one among the first to launch a comprehensive program on the lines starting in the year 2005 itself following the guidelines and with the support of national and international organizations such as Caritas India and UNDP.  In the meantime, the Society has put in place systems and task forces along with keeping an alerted as well as motivated community at the base.  Intensive awareness raising campaigns were carried out for the coastal community on environment and several other aspects that may turn disastrous to them. Task specific core groups have been trained and kept vigilant and equipped services dealing with Search & Rescue, Early Warning, Emergency Health, Damage Assessment & Patrolling and Relief & Rehabilitation.  Altogether 800 persons are there for different tasks having consistently trained and motivated. Also, there is a Resource Team intact to facilitate the operations under CMDRR.  The program has been in session run with the active collaboration of State and National Government Agencies like Department of Police, Health, Revenue, Fire and Rescue, Coast Guard, etc. besides that of the Local Self Government Institutions.  As a matter of fact, the spirit of service and popularity of some of the Resource Team and Task Force members have paved their way to become elected members in the LSG bodies.
To be more specific measures undertaken during the reporting period are listed below:

  • Training and awareness creation on risk reduction during disaster
  • Resource team monthly training
  • Village planning workshops
  • Interface with the members of Panchayath Raj Institutions
  • First aid training for school children
  • Combined training for CMDRR and NGO staff
  • Capacity enhancement training program for Community leaders
  • Refresher training for Team members of different Task Forces
  • Mock drills on emergency services demonstrated by different forces - Fire & Safety, Police, Coast Guard, etc.

The program has generated definite outcomes that 44 community based organization associating with CSSS have now clear understanding and critical sense of awareness, being prepared for disasters and the measures to be followed thereto mitigate the risks and losses. It has become routine that the local people in the coastal area resorting to precautionary measures in anticipation of seasonal sea borne calamities like sea erosion by plugging vulnerable points by piling up sand bags and strengthening the existing bunds, making canals to spill of the emerging water etc. More important is the nexus established by the task forces and community leaders with the Panchayath Raj Institutions resulting into meaningful involvement from both sides in all the common, in particular, CMDRR related task and activities.  In fact, the CMDRR Task Force members have been mainstreamed now as resource persons in PRI to conduct classes in Gramasabha on various topics of disaster prevention and management besides general matters on community development.  On the part of the community catered to by CMDRR team and CSSS, there has been tremendous increase in the level of participation in the PRI both in the planning/decision making processes and  availing of due share of benefits. 

 

  • REVIVAL OF RURAL COIR SECTOR

From the time immemorial Coir crafts and the related industry remain closely integrated with the social life and culture of the area for its traditional attributes as well as its substantial contribution to the livelihood of the village communities.  Even today sizable women folk in the area continue with the occupation either as primary or secondary source of livelihood under flexi time and flexi duration of work conditions.
Realizing the imminent need of modernization of the coir making cottage industry for greater benefits and sustainability, CSSS launched a comprehensive program in 2009 lasting for three years by adopting 10 most under developed villages namely Vayalar, Thankey, Kadakarapally, Arasupuram, Arthunkal, Poomkavu, Areeparambu, Thaikal, Pathirapally and Edathattu where coir making and coir based manufacturing & trading activities constitute mainstay of the livelihood of the communities and that of the rural economy.  Skills updating, modernization of coir making instruments adapted to modern technology, cluster group formation, legitimization of workers in the specified labour constituency for Government welfare schemes and such other varied benefits, unionization of the unorganized workers with bargaining power etc. During the course of last three years about 3500 were brought under the purview of improved occupational environment being formed into joint liability cluster groups in SHG pattern with modern equipment at their disposal and securing status and full entitlements as per provisions. During the process, the Regional Centre (Plesion Social Centre) of CSSS at Thankey has been developed to function also as Training cum Resource Centre in coir and coir based products. The centre is still intact enjoying recognition of the Coir Board with tacit understanding of collaboration with regard to providing professionals for training and transfer technology.  During the reporting period 24 batches of completed training in mechanized coir making and manufacturing process. Being a training program in technology developed and popularized by the Coir Board, a Government of India undertaking, technology as well as expertise is made readily available by the Board besides processing and recommending applications for subsidy for the trainees. In this regard, 480 trained women have been supplied semi mechanized coir ratts working on ¼ HP electrical motor. 50 % of cost of the equipments priced at Rs.4000/- have been either reimbursed by the Government or subsidized by CSSS. With the semi mechanized and regularization of work, the earning of the women coir workers has increased from Rs. 80 to Rs 170 per day. Another major accomplishment of long run effect is enrolment of workers in statutory welfare funds. The welfare benefits under coir workers welfare fund are varied that it includes pension, marriage assistance for daughters, educational assistance, housing, medical insurance, etc.

 

  • FISH WORKERS’ DEVELOPMENT

The Society went ahead with its strenuous effort to stabilize and sustain the initiative in the fisheries sector addressing the traditional fishermen inhabiting both the coastal slums and the islands. In effect, there has been overwhelming response to CSSS initiative in the allied fisheries sectors as compared to the captive sector, which may have to be seen in the context that the youngsters no longer want to remain in the traditional but hazardous occupation with diminishing returns. Of late, it has been noticed that there are considerable women working in fish processing / prawn peeling units for subsistence in de-human condition being under paid and maltreated. As per data available there are 254 peeling units existing in the area and whenever local availability of prawns fall short, the raw material is brought from the neighbouring States. Through CSSS intervention and systematic involvements the unorganized and exploited inland women fish workers have been brought under organization frame work with Self Help Groups formed at the base and KUFF (Kerala United Fisheries Forum) as their federative setup. An outstanding achievement in this respect could be highlighted to be legitimization of the scattered inland fish workers under the allied category of fish workers and their enrolment under the provision of Statutory Welfare Fund operated through Matsyafed, a govt. undertaking. In the meantime 4929 persons could establish access with the welfare benefits and developmental assistances under the government provisions which includes pension, medical assistance, marriage assistance, maternity benefits, widow pension, housing & sanitation, accident insurance, occupational assistance/loans, children’s education, etc.

 

  • HABITAT DEVELOPMENT

From the very inception of the Society hue and cry for shelter has been loudly heard all over the area and is still going on unabated as the most sought after demand on CSSS with its intensity getting aggravated during every monsoon that is invariably accompanied by calamities like sea erosion, whirlwinds and flooding. Practically no year has passed off without CSSS making substantial investments in the housing sector – for new houses, repair and renovation, completion etc. in this respect, the Tsunami Rehabilitation Housing, Needakara Housing Complex with 65 identical houses and other different social housing schemes implemented at different intervals in various places stands as milestone achievements of CSSS. The research oriented and innovative approach of the Society on functional habitat has, of late, come across with the concept of “housing in barrier free environment” and it is already afoot with such a novel scheme for persons with disabilities.

 

  • DEVELOPMENT OF DRINKING WATER, SANITATION & RENEWABLE ENERGY

Promotionally and in terms of physical implementation, the Society has accomplished various schemes on the above aspects, particularly with regard to sustainable drinking water development through different rain water harvesting innovations among which roof water harvesting stands at the top. Alternative schemes for drinking water along with technology on back washing of wells and ponds for enhanced percolation effects, radial well, etc. have been successfully promoted and popularized in the coastal area. CSSS has made it mandatory that every house assisted by it should have proper toilet facility. Under different schemes the Society sees to it that there are hygienic toilets in all the families associating with it by way of direct or indirect support. Similarly, a campaign is on for generating natural cooking gas from domestic waste by establishing and maintaining simple bio gas plants.

 

  • ECO-FRIENDLY MODEL VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT

Going a step ahead from the concept of green village, CSSS has on agenda to establish model villages implying that in addition to the components of the green village, the model village will have inbuilt devices/systems for bio based management, sewage disposal, water harvesting, non- conventional energy resource tapping, natural calamity control and disaster risk reduction, etc. It is an open wide challenge for the WIDS to experiment in their villages with resource map and their development plans to be prepared in advance under scientific guidance and implemented during the jubilee year on the part of CSSS three WIDS coming up with the best plans will be supported in all possible manner.

 

  • CLUSTER FARMING WITH GREEN VILLAGE THRUST

As all are aware, the society is passing through a period threatened with food insecurity and massive environment degeneration amidst steadily declining farming & agriculture with vegetative cover of the earth disappearing at alarming pace and intensity. We have come to directly experience the adverse change in climatic conditions and the sickening effects of it combined with the unaffordable expense the families incurred for buying food items from the market notwithstanding to their low nutritional standards.  On this Jubilee year, it would be befitting that as an organized body the WIDS take a pledge that to raise green villages in the surroundings and let us produce our community and protect ourselves and the future generations.

 

  • DEVELOPMENT AND REHABILITATION OF THE DISABLED

The Society has been running a special program designed and implemented for a persons with disabilities, more particularly, concentrating children addressing physical improvements, capacity enhancement and total rehabilitation.  The interventions are screen lined in three stages:  short term, mid-term and long term.  The short term measures include surgical corrections, physiotherapy and medical treatment.  The second stage processes consists of extended physiotherapy, application of mobility aids and exceeding with general and special schooling provisions.  In the third stage the thrust of the program is on vocational training and employment/IGP. 

 

  • COMMUNITY BASED PALLIATIVE CARE

Having been with WIDS for many years and imbibed the spirit of community service, the members would be certainly eager to apply themselves in ameliorating the suffering of the sick and the poor. In this context, palliative care is an essential area of home based care for terminally ill patients gaining ground in the social set up in the present times. Looking from several angles, WIDS stand well poised to render the kind of service and it has the responsibility to provide volunteers and support systems for a systematic palliative home care program. CSSS has a plan ready for launching the program and let this celebration mark the occasion of the official inauguration. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. In a community based approach, palliative care becomes a partnership between the patient, the team involved and the community around using total team approach to address the needs of the suffering patients and aggrieved families. Apart from providing timely medical remedies and nursing care for pain relief and physical composure the realms of service Integrates the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of the patients. It is envisaged that the terminally ill and permanently bedridden patients live in contentment to the extent possible till the end of their lives.     

 

  • FOOD SECURITY CAMPAIGN

The food security campaign started a couple of years ago joining hands with the Kerala Social Service Forum (KSSF) is getting evolved as a lasting program of CSSS with farmers groups in SHG models formed, food crops and vegetables cultivated applying organic farming methods and linkages maintained with agro support organizations like Krishibhavan, Harithaperuma, etc. Besides intensive training on organic farming and cropping patterns suited to the soil and climatic conditions of the land, CSSS emphasizes upon peoples right for safe and adequate quantity of food to be ensured by the government through the public distribution system and optimization of local agricultural production by prevailing upon the farm land owners to keep it under full-fledged cultivation by self or on lease to others. Already, the Society has now Self Help Groups cultivating leased lands, to name in particular, in the villages of Thykal, Vallethodu, Arthumkal, Chellanam and Kumbalanghy.

 

  • LABOR MOVEMENT

The Labour Movement promoted in the Diocese a decade ago by CSSS has become an emulative for other social service societies in the State which are now remaining federated under the organizational entity named Kerala Labour Movement (KLM). The Cochin unit of KLM presently covers more than 10000 workers organized into Self Help Groups and to a certain extent enrolled as Trade Union members. In this respect, the Diocesan KLM unit holds the distinction of initiating an independent and apolitical Trade Union namely Swathanthra Nirmana Thozhilali Union (SNTU) under the relevant Government Act and presently the area coverage of the same remains broadened encompassing the entire state of Kerala. Starting with unorganized construction workers, the sphere of labour welfare services and promotional involvements of the Diocesan Labour unit have been gradually broad-based to cover other unorganized occupational segments also like coir workers,  tailoring workers, artisans, domestic workers, etc. Other salient features of the Diocesan Labour Movement may be highlighted as democratic functioning, positive social outlook, transparency, worker’s discipline, innovation, education & training, thrift & credit, family participated supplementary income generations activities, pension schemes, insurance, etc.   
Listed below are the some of the noteworthy schemes of KLM Cochin carried out during the previous year for the welfare and betterment of the target labour population:

  • Kshema Nidhi – More than 8000 unorganized workers falling in the categories of construction workers, tailoring workers, domestic workers, artisans workers and coir workers have been enrolled in the Government Welfare Fund, the highest (7000) being construction workers.
  • Thozhilali Kshema Pension – This is an own special scheme of KLM Cochin subscribed by 8000 workers and a sum of Rs.1.90 crore was outstanding in the Pension Fund as 31.03.2013.
  • Aam Admi Bheema Yojana – Educational scholarships for 109 students amounting to Rs.1,30,800/- each were availed of from the Central Government Insurance scheme known as LIC Aam Admi Bheema Yojana.
  • KLM Endowment – By taking collections from the KLM Members, an educational endowment fund of Rs.1 million has been constituted in commemoration       of the Preistly silver Jubilee of Fr. Antony Valiyaveettil, the founder Director of KLM Cochin.  The interest from the endowment fund is earmarked for giving scholarships to children of KLM members who scored high marks in SSLC examination.
  • Data entry unit – This is an employment program for the young women belonging to KLM families started last year with 15 girls.