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Wayanad Social Service Society


Wayanad is the most backward among the 14 districts in the State of Kerala noted for considerable tribal settlements. As per the latest population census, 17.5% of the population in Wayanad is aboriginal which in numerical figures comes to 136000. Located mostly along the fringes of hilly forest ranges, the tribal colonies remain distanced from the social mainstream as a closed community. In the wake of extensive migration and occupancy of the tribal ancestral land by dominant communities elsewhere coupled with stringent Forest Laws in force resulted in the virtual marginalization of the ethnic population being largely deprived of the minor forest produces they had been depending upon for survival and the shift and burn cultivation practiced by them. As of now the tribal population in Wayanad is in severe livelihood crisis with their very existence of the generations seriously threatened. The Wayanad Social Service Society, the official organ of the Diocese of Mananthavady for Social Action, has been always maintaining preferential option for the indigenous people right from its inception in 1974. From among the three taluks in the District, namely, Mananthavady, Vythiri and Sulthan Bathery with sizable tribal population, the Society is now at the exit point from Mananthavady tribal settlements after long term involvements having more or less completed successfully an integrated development programme. The Self Help Groups formed and activated in the colonies do put up stable performance in small savings & micro credit in matters related to livelihood development and the Community Based Organization (CBO) poised for asserting tribal stake in the socio-political processes.