Five NGOs engaged in social uplift work, including three from the State, were on Thursday provided financial aid under the Japanese government’s “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects” (GGP) scheme.

The beneficiary NGOs were the Community Action for Rural Development, Socio Economic Development Association and the Rural Development Organisation in Tamil Nadu and the Pragathi Charities and Integrated Rural Development Services in Andhra Pradesh.

Handing over cheques to the NGO representatives, Kazuo Minagawa, Consul General of Japan in Chennai, said the GGP scheme had particular importance in India, where a third of the population lived in poor socio-economic conditions.

Mr.Minagawa sought to remind the NGOs that the grant was only the first step in a long journey towards helping the underprivileged and marginalised sections.

The GGP would help strengthen the bilateral relationship in general and the ties with the two partner States in particular, he said. Since inception in 1989, the Consulate-General of Japan has supported about 100 GGP projects in South India in the fields of primary healthcare, education and women’s empowerment.

Tomonori Minowa, Consul, was also present at the function to mark the signing and exchange of grant contract with representatives of the NGOs.

Seeniraj Rackel Jaya, programme director, Community Action for Rural Development, received a cheque for $ 90,715 towards constructing a treatment cum rehabilitation centre for alcohol and drug addicts.

The centre will be used for free treatment and rehabilitation through a combination of yoga, counselling and medical therapy for a 21-day-long session.

Johnrose Asir Packla Singh, director, Socio Economic Development Association, received a cheque for $ 89,954 towards constructing a facilitation centre for enhancing the livelihood of underprivileged women. The facilitation centre would be used to provide capacity building and skill-based vocational training for women.

Sathukutty Krishnaleela, secretary, Rural Development Organisation, received a cheque for $ 97,059, for undertaking the construction of a multi-purpose resource centre for women, children and farmers.

The resource centre will have three vocational training rooms, counselling rooms and Information and Communication Technologies section.

Vinukonda Sreenivasulu, secretary, Pragathi Charities, received a cheque for $ 97,087, towards constructing a disability rehabilitation resource centre. The proposed centre would cater to the holistic rehabilitation needs of the disabled ranging from prosthetic appliances and physiotherapy to counselling and computer education.

Sukumar David, director, Integrated Rural Development Services, received a cheque for $ 97,024 for implementing a project to set up a multi-purpose resource centre for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

The proposed centre would impart vocational training and house a counselling centre, health centre and a sick room for HIV-infected patients and commercial sex workers, the target beneficiaries.

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