Slideshow | Tribal Foundation (Nagercoil): Many talents, one team – Tamil Nadu

Photos and profiles provided by S.S. Davidson

The foundation’s projects supports its efforts to secure a healthy diet, health care, prevention of disease, combining biodiversity with a sustainable livelihood and access to school education in accordance with government provisions.

The team of the Tribal Foundation in Nagercoil includes people from all walks of life: education, ecology, health, agriculture and more. It has initiated and supported many projects for members of the Kaani community inhabiting the remote mountain region of Kanyakumari.

In spite of the formidable challenges posed by poverty, environmental degradation and prejudices, several young Kaanis have entered higher education with the aim of helping their communities to lead a dignified life in accordance with their own values. See also Youth group Leaders (below).

Read Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Ethics : The Kaani Tribe in India by S.S. Davidson, Environmental Educationist.

Kaani associates for projects by the foundation

Ayyan Kaani (65): The boat operator, who transports us safely from one end to the other of the dam. A tribal elder with a rich knowledge of ethno-botany and organic agriculture.

Krishnan Kaani (63): An agriculturist practicing organic agriculture with extensive knowledge of herbal medicinal plants. He serves as our guide and escort.

Sri Rengan Kaani (64): An elderly person community member involved in organic agriculture. He serves as guide during our trekking trips .he has rich knowledge on edible mushrooms.

Saraswathi Kaani (55): A congenial host taking care of our food needs during visits to her forest area. She offers space in her hut for relaxing, free of charge. She can identify edible mushrooms and helps in that area.

Nagammal Kaani (36): A dynamic woman leader in the community. She organizes meetings and coordinates the children’s group.


The Hindu, NAGERCOIL, August 5, 2013

A free eye screening camp for tribal people was held at the Mookaraikal Tribal Settlement on Saturday.

Addressing the meeting, Dr Raj Manoj, ophthalmologist said that if a person was diabetic, regular visits to an ophthalmologist was essential. […]

The camp was sponsored by Tribal Foundation, Bejan Singh Eye Hospital and Blindness Prevention Association of Kanyakumari District.

Source: Eye camp held – The Hindu
Address :
Date Visited: Sun Oct 20 2013 21:07:20 GMT+0200 (CEST)


Persons associated with the Tribal Foundation

Jacob Robert Singh (54): A graduate in Economics from Scott Christian College, Nagercoil, the southernmost Kanyakumari district in India. He is a garment exporter. He is the Managing Trustee and in charge of transportation .

S S Davidson (58): Author of many research articles on the hill Kaani tribe in the Western Ghats and main person in the Trust; a postgraduate in English Language & Literature, with MPhil degrees in Education and English. He also has an MBA degree in Education Management. A recipient of a National Award for his innovative concept in imparting Environmental Awareness while teaching of English, he serves as a key resource person in all the environmental activities of the Trust. He is also a resource person in the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.

Rose Darling (62): A retired school teacher with a postgraduate degree in Tamil language and an MPhil degree. A voracious orator in Tamil and an approved orator at the district level.

Appu Kaani (65):  A seniorKaani leader with vast knowledge on herbal medicines; an opinion maker in the tribal community; one of the model apiarists helped by the Trust. As agriculturist, he specializes in organic vegetables and  rubber latex production.

Jeya Grace (35): An active young woman who keeps in the tribal kids in order, along with the tribal women leaders. She is the Treasurer in the Trust.

Kumar Kaani  (42): A tribal youth who leads us into the dense jungles, for research, survey and study of the biodiversity. He is an expert in elephant tracking. When man versus animal conflict occurs, his team is sought by the Forest Department to chase the elephants. Ha has a rich knowledge of ethno-botany and biodiversity.

Our Volunteers and team members

Shanthi Davidson (55): A postgraduate in English with an MPhil degree in English, in addition to he Master of Education degree. She does the spade work for the trips to the tribal areas, as food, water, first aid, life guards and prepares the itinerary for the programs.She prepares a check list for the travels.

Samson Edward ( 35): A post-graduate in zoology with a degree in Education. An enthusiastic environmentalist, a snake rescuer and a resource person in delivering lectures on environmental topics. He is the key person in our snake rescue operations. He works as an Inspector of Police in Tamil Nadu government. He drives the vehicles for us.

Ananth Prasanth ( 28): A postgraduate in Wildlife Biology, who takes care of transportation and interprets biodiversity during eco-exposure visits.

Asher Ringo (22): A final year engineering student with electronics & communication as specialization. An avid photographer, he is a team leader during trekking for college students. He is a keen observer of wild life. Due to his inordinate passion for driving, he drives the vehicles during our jungle trips.

Mathew Lordu Rajia ( 54): A gold medalist in MA Folklore, in St Xavier’s College, Palayamcottai,  MS university. He is an ethno-musicologist and accompanies us during our trips. He has specialized in the folk musical instrument ‘Thappu’ and organizes music concerts with that instrument.

Dr. Johnsy Moses (35): A PhD holder with specialization in mycology. She did her doctorate with one of the edible mushrooms spotted by us in the wild with the help of the Kaani tribe. She helps the Foundation by culturing spawns of edible mushrooms in lab to give it to the tribal people.

Dr. Sam Manohara Das (58): A doctorate in Zoology with specialization in insect behavior. He is the head of the department of Zoology in the century old Scott Christian College, Nagercoil. He is one of our advisors.

Dr. Godwin Wesley (61): Doctorate in Zoology and has specialized in Marine biology; has who worked as Head of the department of Zoology. He is one of our advisors.

Eastus Samuel (58): An agricultural Graduate, working as Assistant Director of Agriculture in Tamil Nadu government service. He offers free consultation to the Kaani tribal people in their agricultural sector.

Ashok Macrin (54): An agricultural graduate working in Horticultural Department in Tamil Nadu Government service. He helps us to procure saplings, honey bees from the department at subsidized rates.

Surendran Joseph (58): An Assistant director of Horticulture in government service, who guides us to secure government schemes.

Other kaani Elders

Sankaran Kaani, MathuKutty Kaani, Devi Kaani,  Selvan Kaani who serve as guides, advisors and escorts to us.

Youth group Leaders

Regitha Kaani ( girl-college student), Sounder Kaani,  Murugan kaani, Sangeetha Kaani (girl-college student), Unni Kaani( completed BSc – General Nursing),  Ramesh Kaani,  Ayappan Kaani (student), Muthu Kutty Kaani, Jeba Kaani (girl).

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