The South Indian Conference was jointly organized by ADECOM Network and Maitri Network in Reena Mahal on 25.11.2014 at 9.00 am to 1.30 pm. In that programme ADECOM invited women leaders from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra, Thelungana, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
It also invited the chief guests Shri. N.G. Pannirselvam,the Hon’ble local administration minister, Govt of Puducherry to give the presidential address and Shri. P. Rajavelu, Hon’ble welfare minister, Gov.t of Puducherry to gave the special address and Mrs. Vanmathi, deputy director of women and child development department, Mrs. Nagajothi, member of women commission, and Ms. Priya sub inspector of police to gave the felicitation.
Before leaving Paris students were given a list of which agencies were available for volunteers and what some of their needs consisted of. I knew then in Paris that I wanted to work with ADECOM. I was aware of the other organizations in the Pondicherry and Auroville area, but I felt this organization was working toward a cause that is so important and still has so far to go. I was eager to work with them and assist in any way I could.
Thankfully my request was granted and I began volunteering at the ADECOM Network on Monday, January 2, 2012. This was just days after Cyclone Thane but ADECOM was unharmed. Although some of the staff members’ homes were damaged they still reported to work.
My volunteer partner, Andres and I were warmly welcomed on our first day of “work.” Madame Lalida and Mr. Perumal met with us and asked some questions about our backgrounds. After telling them a bit about ourselves we were given some reading material about ADECOM and the Dalit community. This information was valuable because we had a general idea but had so many questions.
Throughout the next 2 weeks, going to “work” everyday at ADECOM was a joy. I wrote articles, blogs and material for the website and Andres (an attorney) assisted with grant writing and proposals. Everyone there was so friendly, helpful and made us feel welcome. Sharing meals with everyone was also a treat. A special thank you to the chef! If I ever return to that part of India, I will be sure and stop by to say hello to my ADECOM family. Thank You, Muchas Gracias, Merci, and Nandri to ADECOM!