Asha for Education

Meeting and open discussion with Siddamma.

Harold Leonard Stuart Hall - University of Chicago
5835 South Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Thursday February 16 at 7:30 PM


Sneha Ramakrishna

Gaurav Sarup

  Harbinger of Hope

Siddamma is a grassroots activist working with the Irula tribals in Tamil Nadu, India for over 12 years. She created the Bharathi Trust that has years transformed into a people's movement over time and currently represents about 50,000 Irulas in four districts of Tamil Nadu. It has enabled the people to organize themselves in their struggle for basic rights. The recent release of around 300 bonded laborers from rice mills in Red Hills, Tamil Nadu is a result of their efforts. Apart from facilitating the Irula community movement and rehabilitating bonded laborers, she is engaged in Tsunami rehabilitation work in the Cuddalore and Thiruvallur districts of Tamilnadu state.

She is in the US to present to the United Nations about the role of governments in protection of land and human rights when responding to natural disasters. Her talk draws from her involvement in tsunami rehabilitation work being done by Bharathi Trust in collaboration with Asha for Education and Action Aid.

Awards and Honors

  • Best social work award Lion's Club Chennai, 1999.
  • Best community worker award, Irula Society, 2000
  • Best social work award, presented by Medha Patkar, 2003
  • Outlook Magazine's National SpeakOut Award, presented by Sonia Gandhi, 2005