Continuously sweat in the service of others without feeling any tiredness. Serve everyone with everything you have, everywhere, every time. This is work. All else is labour.
CORD – Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development
CORD is a bond of love and understanding encouraging a process of sharing which enriches both the giver and the receiver. In this process of giving and serving, the giver grows spiritually and the receiver is blessed with the power of transformation.
– Swami Tejomayananda (World wide Head of Chinmaya Mission)
CORD (Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development) is the service wing of Chinmaya Mission and operates as a Trust and NGO. It has been active in the field of holistic rural development for over two decades. It facilitates integrated, participatory and sustainable rural development in villages of Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh through guidance, funding and monitoring.
With a vision to provide a platform for individuals to perform selfless service, Swami Chinmayananda started a rural healthcare and development programme in Sidhbari. “For many millennia, the women of the Himalayas have served the Rishis and munis (sages). I, too, have taken all my teachings in the Himalayas – this is an opportunity to do our bit for them,” said Swami Chinmayananda when apprised of a USAID proposal for maternal and child care services in Sidhbari. The seed was sown – Chinmaya Rural Primary Health Care and Training Centre was formed on April 10, 1985. It was also evident that women in these communities would benefit from training as multipurpose health workers as well.
The first steps were an Out Patient Department (OPD) clinic in Sidhbari and community-based health services through six health sub-centres with emphasis on maternal and child health care including immunisation, family planning, domiciliary antenatal, intra-natal and postnatal care.
While implementing outreach health services in villages, it was pragmatic that the link between primary health care and the reality of village life needed a deeper intervention. In 2003, a separate Trust for developmental growth was formed – Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development (CORD). Website: www.cord.org.in
To facilitate integrated and sustainable development in rural India through self-empowerment processes.
For over twenty years, CORD, a secular non-profit and the service wing of Chinmaya Mission, has been helping rural communities create programmes and adopt practices for holistic welfare; facilitating participatory, integrated and sustainable development for underprivileged communities in over 700 villages and remote areas across India.
CORD has a reach spanning over one-half million villagers in four states: Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, at present.
CORD is a creation of Pujya Guruji (Swami Tejomayananda), to create an urge of creativity in the rural population, for creating comprehensive wealth and managing various aspects of their life to live independently, indigenously and respectfully with a religious spirit and scientific mind.
– Swami Kevalananda, Project Director, CORD Lathikata, Odisha
- Micro-banking and Self Help groups allow villagers to access finances in times of need, without having to worry about collateral and other banking criteria.
- Mahila mandals empower women and young girls to overcome personal and financial concerns through Income Generation Programmes and Adult Literacy.
- Yuva and Yuvati mandals are a platform for young men and women to channelise their strengths positively. The mandals impart trade skills, confidence in speech and address societal issues which may be often unspoken within families and communities.
- Balwadis and Balveers are creative playgroups for children aged 2 to 6 years. With emphasis on spiritual, academic and physical education, a well-rounded growth of the child is encouraged.
- Managing and sustaining natural resources through training people in practices of soil conservation, vegetation and organic farming, solid waste management including hygiene and health care.
- Developmental activities like vocational training, income generation activities and computer literacy.
- Counselling and discussions to understand and overcome social injustices like gender inequalities and domestic violence.
- Health Awareness camps addressing common ailments, educating people about hygiene and sanitation including the benefits of practising yoga and pranayama.
- Literacy Drives to ensure that basic education is offered to all members of society, with interventions like distribution of study materials, tuition and coaching classes, value based and cultural education, as well as career guidance workshops.
- Income Generation by mobilising sustainable livelihood through means and skills available locally. For example, agriculture, horticulture, dairy, small shops, food products, fabrics (weaving, sewing, embroidery, and knitting), traditional arts and crafts, bamboo and non-timber forest crafts and so on.
- Social Justice and Informal Legal Assistance, such as, alcohol abuse awareness; fighting domestic violence, gender discrimination and child abuse.
Training on food preservation, preparation of vermin compost, tailoring classes, repairing of sewing machines, preparation of leaf plates and cups; manufacture of sanitary napkins, agarbatti making, book binding; manufacturing of wire-baskets, paper packets and phenyl; typing classes, cultivation of paddy straw & mushrooms, cell phone repairing, embroidery training, jewellery making and screen printing.
FARMERS CLUB ACTIVITIES
Digging wells, promoting latest techniques to cultivate rice, developing vermin compost units, awareness about organic farming, promotion of crop insurance and Kisan Credit Cards. Popularisation of tuber crops, maize cultivation, mango and cashew plantations.
Basic computer training for rural youth, digital literacy programme in Tamil, tuition centres in villages, value based education and so on.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Initiate construction of check dams, plantation of different fruit saplings, promoting forestry species and herbal plants.
Promotion of low cost sanitary toilets, soakage pits, segregation of waste and waste management and clean water facilities.
Health awareness camps in village schools, anti-anaemia camps for girls, immunisation for children, regular outreach services to disabled individuals, services through out-patient clinics, antenatal checkups, family planning interventions and nutrition.
Unless communities are mobilised for resolving local issues, health care for all can never become a reality. It was this focus on the comprehensive development of the village that allowed us to engage the women and tackle the challenges they faced – poverty, low self-image, illiteracy, low status and so on.– Dr. Kshama Metre, National Director, CORD
To embrace any orphaned girl child in the 5-7 years age group, irrespective of her caste, colour, creed or ethnicity, and to raise her as our own, providing her with food, shelter, clothing, education and health care.Chinmaya Vijaya Orphanage, in Kaza, Andhra Pradesh, is a non-political, non-government, all girls orphanage that was formed in 2007 under the patronage of CORD. Built on five acres of land, it is committed to the care of orphaned and homeless girls. It provides them with a family, a home, education, recreation and builds a strong foundation to prepare the girls to face life independently by providing them with professional and/or vocational training. The aim is to absorb them into the social mainstream and help them, if they choose, with the completion of their education, employment, and/or marriage.Seva at CORD is the straight route to Gurudev’s (Swami Chinmayananda) heart.- Dr. Meera Krishna, Project Co-ordinator, CORD Siruvani, Tamil Nadu
The National Director of CORD, Dr. Kshama Metre, a long time member of Chinmaya Mission, is recognised as one of India’s modern transformers. She has won several awards for contribution to social welfare. These include:
- Person-of-the-Year Award, by the national magazine – The Week (1993)
- Ojaswini Award for Excellence in Service (2000)
- National Women Commission Award for Women Empowerment (2002)
- Featured in the book, Prophets of India (2004)
- Sadguru Gnanananda Award for Manav Seva Dharam Samvardhani (2005)
- Nominated as a member of the 11th Planning Commission (Primary Health Care) by the Government of India for 2007–12
- Padma Shree Award for Social Services given by the President of India (2008)
- Padma Shree Award for excellence in services offered to rural areas (2010)Guardian International Development Achievement Award (2012)
- Honoured by National Commission of Women for her outstanding work towards women empowerment (2013)
CORD has also received:
- CORD Siruvani – Award for Social Service by FICCI Ladies organization (2012)
- All India Women’s Education Fund Association (AIWEFA) presented CORD with the “Nina Sibal Memorial Award” for its “Integrated Community Based Rehabilitation work for differently-abled persons” (2006)
- Best Facilitator Award for Promotion & Linkage of Self Help Groups in Sundergarh District from Women & Child Development Department, Odisha (2006)
Dr. Meera Krishna, Project Incharge of CORD-Siruvani received an award from the National Commission of Women, Government of India, for outstanding achievement in her area of work (2013). Other
CORD has been active in the field of holistic rural development for over two decades. To enhance the scope of this project and reach many more deserving areas we have to raise funds. We appeal to all those who value this cause to generously support CORD by sending whatever contribution you can.
Your contributions may please be made in favour of “CORD” and sent to our Head office at: 89, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi-110003
All donations are now exempted from Tax under Section 80G (50%) and Section 35AC (100%) of the Income Tax Act 1961. Also registered under Section 6(1) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 1976.