The Movement emergered as a response to the atrocities and untouchability perpetrated on the Puthirai Vannar community spread through Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts. In 2003, three Puthirai Vannar families of Kuruvimalai village of Tiruvannamalai district, were rescued from caste bonded labour. In Sathiamangalam village of Villupuram district, discrimination against the Puthirai Vannar families within the catholic parish was taken up. These incidents snowballed into formation of many sangams(associations) which later emerged as the Thurumbar Liberation Movement(TLM).
Fifteen to Twenty villages are grouped into a sangam. Monthly meetings are held to solve their problems. Trainings are held for the members, women, children in particular. Education scholarships are given to the children.
Districts in which TLM is active: Villupuram, Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Kancheepuram.
Sangams/Associations functioning: 11 spread through these 5 districts.
Families in contact: Over 1150
- Over 60 cases of atrocities have been taken up and followed.
- Periodic trainings are given for the youth, women and children, to create awareness about their rights. Monthly sangam meetings held.
- Educational help is given to children every year, to promote basic high school education. Youngsters who pursue higher studies are given scholarships and guidance. ‘Thurumbar Thulir’ has been formed as the children’s forum.
- Networking and collaboration with other human rights organizations and religious congregations.
- Settlements(hamlets) having 40-60 houses have been created in 3 places and in Polur town 10 houses have been built for the affected families, with the help of well wishers.
- Summer camps have been conducted for the children from 2005 onwards.
- We have Partnered with IDEAS center, Madurai in conducting survey in 3 districts- Villupuram, Cuddalore & Tiruvannamalai.
- District and state level conventions have been held.
- The government of Tamilnadu, in response to our efforts, formed a separate welfare board on 07.07.2009 namely ‘THE TAMILNADU PUTHIRAI VANNAR WELFARE BOARD’.
- TLM is represented as a member of this welfare board, in the person of Fr.Arul Valan.
- A Puthirai Vannar Community Development and Research Center is being established at Ginjee, a first of its kind in Tamil nadu.