The Rural Agency for Social & Technological Advancement RASTA – India

Linked to our presentation of Thakaraprambil Kochukuttan Omana – India.

From the arid land of Rajasthan to the hilly and forested climes of Wayanad. So varied has been the fields that T. K Omana has covered in her nearly three decades of activities as a social worker.

Omana who is among the 92 women from India nominated for the Nobel peace prize for 2005, is a full-time social worker and Director of the Rural Agency for Social and Technological Advancement (Rasta), in Wayanad.

She is happy but not excited by the news that she is among the 1,000 women from across the world nominated for the honour. Speaking to the The Hindu she observed “recognition for hard work always brings satisfaction. It gives a nice feeling to know your work is noticed and appreciated.”

Now she is working on rainwater harvesting programmes. Ms. Omana, 46, comes from an agricultural family in Pathanamthitta district where she was born as the youngest of eight children. She says it is her first-hand knowledge of problems of poor women who were living in and around her neighbourhoods that kindled in her an interest in social work at a very young age.

In fact she started her social work at the age of 18 at distant Tilonia in Rajasthan, joining the pioneer social work organisation, the Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC) led by Ms. Aruna Roy and Mr. Bunker Roy. She worked for eliminating untouchability and also among rural Dalits and Adivasi women.

After eight years of social service in Rajasthan she returned to Kerala in 1984 and, set up the NGO, Rasta in Kumblakkad in Wayanad.

The district has no dearth of NGOs that are active among the backward tribal communities and engaged in other rural development schemes. But Rasta has been able to make an impact in Wayanad’s social scene with a number of projects aimed at empowerment of backward communities.

“It is economic empowerment that should get top priority in any development programme for women”, she says underlining her conviction that economic independence is the key to liberation of women from oppression and exploitation.

One of her major initiatives has been setting up micro level self-help groups in backward rural hamlets.

Her activities were aimed at inculcating the saving habit among rural women, promoting community life and social participation. Through its projects Rasta has opened up hundreds of job opportunities for rural women. Many have also been given training in skills that would help them earn a living. (Read on The Hindu).

This Kerala-based NGO strives to impart development-oriented education with the intention of improving the socio-economic conditions of the needy. It also promotes conservation, imparts environmental education, and disseminates eco-friendly rural technologies, besides conducting research in sustainable agriculture.If the profile suits your requirement, then get in touch with. (Read on Terra Green).

The Organisations Registered Profile.

Rural Agency for Social and Technological Advancement
Ms.Omana T.K
Kambalakkad P.O. Wayanad-673121
Ph:0493-686725, 602094
Fax:0493-602094
Email:rasta_k@satyam.net.in
Project District for NABARD, Kerala Regional Office: Wayanad
Grant amount by NABARD: 2.03

links:

Telesupport home;

NESA annual report;

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