From the Director's Desk
V.R. Keshavraj, Executive Director
What a fruitful and challenging journey it has been! 31 years ago when I had completed a decade of field experience in development, I was very keen to initiate a NGO where the prime focus would be around rural community’s active participation and improving the quality of life of the poor. I started searching far and wide as to where to start the work.
I looked at various districts of Tamil Nadu and found that the then undivided Dharmapuri district to be the most backward and this gave me the insight to go deep into various indicators related to poverty. I found almost in all areas such as livelihoods, education and health, the district had the lowest ranking when compared to the state average. The district had both rural and tribal areas covered by forest and most villages inaccessible to reach easily. Later the district got divided into Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri and till today it is yet to be connected by train from Chennai!
It is during this juncture in 1988 Association for Rural Community Development (ARCOD) was born with a logo of banyan tree and sun, keeping ecology and people in mind. Today, I am very glad that ARCOD has completed 28 years of not mere existence but effective functioning despite many challenges. This is due to several factors, persons and institutions. I must first thank all the people in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Kangayam (Thiruppur) and Sivagangai Districts with whom we have initiated development activities for their cooperation and support.
ARCOD has gone through a few phases over the last 31 years. Initial phase was though difficult it was the phase of the foundation and it was with the cooperation of people of Kelamangalam bock of Krishnagiri District and the leadership among the women groups and the farmers groups ARCOD developed as an organization with long term vision and mission.