Vanavil Trust

Partner From

About Vanavil

Vanavil Trust ( was started in 2005 in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami of 2004 to support children of two nomadic communities, Boom Boom Mattukarars and Narikuravars, in Tamil Nadu. After 18 years of working with the communities, Vanavil now has grown into an organization with multiple projects. These are aimed at supporting the education of the children from the nomadic tribal communities.


The nomadic tribes attain equality, identity and dignity.


To ensure equality and dignity for nomadic communities by working for their protection, development, and well-being in Tamil Nadu through education, livelihood, advocacy, health, and nutrition.

Target group

Our primary target is children/young adults/parents from marginalized nomadic communities (like the Aadiyan/Narikuravar tribes). We have also extended our reach to include other marginalized groups like Dalits, manual scavengers, and transgender community primarily during our relief work.


Vanavil Foundation works for the nomadic community in the Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, and Mayiladuthurai districts of Tamil Nadu.


Started as an alternative School for never been to school children from nomadic communities who were into begging, we became an anti-begging childcare institution working with Creative Education and Nutrition as our Solutions. Vanavil has in the eighteen years of its existence grown into:

  • Vanavil nursery and primary school – Supporting 108 children from extremely marginalized communities with a customized curriculum and arts + performances-based Pedagogy.
  • Vanavil childrens home – A home and a safe space for 50 Girls who are at risk of early marriage and begging.
  • Vanavil after-school centres – Community Learning centers in 12 nomadic hamlets providing supplementary education and Nutrition to 750 Children.
  • Nomads higher education project – Providing higher education scholarships to 100 nomadic community youngsters who are the first in their community to reach college. Internal to Wipro
  • Alternative livelihoods and skilling program – Rehabilitating 500+ women from nomadic communities from begging through creating alternative income generation possibilities.
  • Railway childline partner – A partner of the Railway Childline Project in Nagapattinam district to protect and rescue children who require care and protection.
  • Relief works – Vanavil has always been the first to respond in case of distress in the district. From the Gaja cyclone to COVID second wave, we continue to stand with the people of the district in relief and rehabilitation

Learnings and challenges

Our challenges over the past year were due to constant migration, going to work with their parents, and requiring caste certificates in schools. Students find it extremely difficult to go to school. Due to this, many students didn’t go to the school. But the teachers of our evening center have put 13 students back into the school after talking to the parents of the students and the principals of the school with a lot of effort to get the students back into the school.

Plans for next 1-3 years

The Strategic Plan is to protect education, Nutritional Support, and livelihood for 2,400 women and children from nomadic tribes and research and advocacy to bring visibility to nomadic tribes issues in Tamil Nadu.

Quality education for 1400 children from nomadic tribes: Vanavil resolves to strengthen the school project and grow it up to class 8 reaching high-quality education to 200 nomadic children by 2025. We also plan to strengthen the after-school program on assessments and impact metrics, expanding it to the fourth district, Thanjavur, and reaching 1,000 students in nomadic villages by 2025. We would also work toward the goal of getting 200 students from the nomadic tribes into higher education.

Working to prevent acute malnutrition amongst nomadic tribes in three districts: Prenatal / Neonatal Intervention in the 1000-day golden period when malnutrition can be addressed effectively. Support to all nomadic mothers and children up to age 2 in three districts.

Child protection of nomadic children in three districts: Working with government authorities and the community to prevent child begging, child marriages, and child labor through interventions, rescue, advocacy, and awareness generation. Will close the Children’s home in 22-23 and move to complete community-based protection work.

Livelihood creation, skilling, and financial inclusion of 1,000 nomadic women: To provide skill training and microloans to at least 1,000 nomadic women in 3 districts (50% of all nomadic women in 3 districts reached) with 100% repayment of microloans.

Collaborate to make the nomadic tribes and their issues gain more visibility: To publish a participatory survey of nomadic tribes in 3 districts by 2023. To look at possibilities of collaboration with universities and organizations to bring progress on the NT demands of Community certificates and Welfare boards.