Vanavil Trust

On a Mission to Educate Children and Empower Women from Nomadic Communities!
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About Us

Vanavil Trust

The Nomadic Communities are a neglected lot underserved by the state. Our innovative educational model, Nutritional support and livelihoods have created historic changes and development.

Vanavil Trust was started in 2005 in the aftermath of Asian Tsunami of 2004 to support children of two Nomadic communities, Boom Boom Mattikarars and Narikuravars, in Tamil Nadu. After 17 years of working with the communities, Vanavil now has grown into an organisation with multiple projects that are aimed to support the education of the children from the nomadic tribal communities.


Vanavil stands for Child protection | Health & Nutrition | Holistic education | Livelihoods


Started as an anti-begging child care institution, Vanavil has in the seventeen years of its existence grown into

·       Vanavil Children’s Home - A home and a safe space for 50 Nomadic girls

·       Vanavil Nursery & Primary School - An alternative primary school with innovative pedagogy

·       Vanavil After School Centres - Ensuring Schoolgoing, Supplementary education and Nutritional support to 700 Nomadic Children in 11 Villages.

·       Nomad Higher Education Scholarship - 66 First generation Nomadic students in career oriented courses.

·       Vanavil Livelihood Program - A Program to rehabilitate women of Nomadic communities from begging and creating alternative income generation possibilities for them.

·       Railway Childline Partner - A partner of Railway Childline Project in Nagapattinam district to protect and rescue children who are in need of care and protection.

·       Relief Works - Vanavil has always been first to respond in case of distress in the district. From Gaja cyclone to COVID second wave we continue to stand with the people of the district through various relief works like distribution of dry rations and strengthening the medical facility in the district.


*We are not affiliated with any religious or political institutions. We are a secular organisation.


Our focus areas

An integrated approach to build a equitable and empowered society

Mission & Vision


The nomadic and marginalised communities attain Equality, Identity and Dignity


To ensure equality and dignity for nomadic communities by working for their protection, development and well being in Tamilnadu through Education, Livelihood, Advocacy, Health and Nutrition.


Vanavil School

Vanavil is a Happy School. We have about 108 children in Pre KG to 5th standard. We believe that safety, freedom, trust and friendship are cornerstones for a good learning environment. We facilitate learning through Montessori methods, Activity oriented classes and experiential projects. Our children come from extreme poverty and Stigma the Nomadic Communities face. We have built our learning as an happy experience with arts and Performances fundamentally integrated as are Math and Science. A typical day at Vanavil School can be a visit to a goat form, making clay models of different animal paws and measuring up the windows and tables in the class. Our Annual School Play is very famous and tours to many places. 

Childrens Home

Fifty children mostly girls and a few boys below the age of 10 stay at the Vanavil Home. We take in kids with single parents, Family issues, homeless to keep them away from begging and child marriage. We provide them Food, stay, take care of their education till college. We attend to their health issues and run medical camps. We teach them crafts and vocational skills like tailoring, basket weaving and palm crafts. We Play ultimate frisbee and other games and have a cultural troupe. We run online classes for subjects to our children in collaboration with CLE Trust, Bangalore.


Most women from the Nomadic Communities seek alms in places of worship and large gatherings due to poverty and lack of viable livelihoods for them. They also tend to see it as a continuation of their traditional soothsaying and taking grains in return. The Covid19 pandemic hit them most as the lockdown meant no gatherings or worship. In order to ensure food security of the children and adults we With the the support of Ashwini Seetha Foundation we started running SHGs to give interest free loans to make these women into small vendors. Since they have amazing people skills sales works for them. We have given Milch cows to single women and Tailoring training including power machine training to younger women. 

Nomad Higher Education Scholarship

If ST and NT Communities are struggling to get primary education they are almost non existent in the Higher Education Institutions. Vanavil supports students from its School, Home and Afterschool projects with career guidance, College admission and a scholarship to cover their college fees and Hostel expenses. We connect them with mentors with whom the children can communicate on a regular basis for academic and personal support. Currently we support 66 students through this programme.

We are very proud that the first woman graduate from the Aadiyan community is a Vanavil Girl and now we have a Reporter from the aadiyan community. Our scholars are into Fine arts, Design, Sports education, Nursing, Biotechnology and more 

Afterschool Program

Vanavil runs 12 Afterschool centres at Nomadic Hamlets in Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai and Thiruvarur districts. 740 children attend these classes daily. We feed them a nutritious snack and help with school lessons. English and Math are taught with special focus. We monitor the children’s school attendance and reach out to children who fall into child labour and get them back to school. We conduct events and competitions, Sports day and Art camp for confidence building. We guide students in 10th and 12th for their future course in Education. 

Campaign Against Begging

Vanavil in collaboration with the District Child Protection Unit runs a Child Friendly Space in Velankanni, identified as one of the 51 places of worship in India where children need better protection. We stop women from begging with infants and little children who sell stickers as a way of novel begging. We work with the local police, Panchayat administration, CWC and local stakeholders.

Our Impact

It is the small change that makes the biggest impact.


Board Members

Revathi R

Managing Trustee

Dinesh Sundaramurthy


Kalpana Bhat


Ramesh Sundaresan


Vardini M S

Board Member

Advisory Panel

Devishree Radhakrishnan


Emaya Kannamma




Senthil Babu


Team Members

Abinaya N (Compliance & Finance Manager)


Gayathri (Teacher and School Coordinator)


R Solairaj, Deputy Director



What Others have to say


Volunteer with us for making a difference in somebody's life and also it is a good opportunity for you to give back to the society. For more information, mail us at

Get in touch

Mailing Address

No.264, Public Office Road, Velipalayam, Nagapattinam 611001

Email Address

Phone Number


vanavil trust non profit