On the 3rw of July, 1987 the Diocese of Kottapuram was established as a separate diocese from Metropolitan Archdiocese of Verapoly. Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS), which is the official organ for Social Action of Diocese of Kottapuram got established in 1987 simultaneously with the formation of the Diocese of Kottapuram. Ever since inception the society has been striving hard for the total development of the community, especially the poor and marginalized by integrating all the elements and resources of the community. The vision of KIDS says: “To establish a just and self -reliant society based on human values. As the vision says, KIDS thrust essentially entails an enabling process through which the target population live a life of their own in self reliance with full human dignity and confidence and in complete harmony with nature. KIDS, which is a registered voluntary organization under the Travancore Cochin, Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act of 1955, has its headquarters at Kottapuram in Thrissur District, operating in four revenue districts, namely Thrissur, Ernakulam, Malappuram and Palakad.

Charity approach 1987-1995

During the initial Stage charity and social welfare activities were carried out under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Dr. Fr. Francis Kallarackal. Poverty eradication was main focus during this period. It was carried out in villages in General.

Initiation of Community Based Organization (CBO)1995-2000
Village level community organization was the prior concern of KIDS, which focused self-reliance and sustainability of the target communities. Since then KIDS has channeled all its social development activities through CBOs.

Organizational Rejuvenation initiated 2000 onwards
Collaboration, Linkage and net working with other NGOs and government programme were started for the rejuvenation of the People Organization

From the year 2000 onwards, KIDS’ has been focussing on the improvement of the conditions of the people through various interventions with the expert services available to the organisation. The implementation of community development programmes by KIDS wholly concentrates on the adoption of consistent policies, specific administrative arrangements, recruitment and training of personnel, mobilization of local and general resources and organization of research, experimentation and evaluation. KIDS began to give extreme importance to the development of various clusters as ideal community based units for integrated village development. Facilitation for proper networking within the various sub groups for the effective management and achieving sustainability of different initiatives became yet another spotlight for the upcoming phase. KIDS’ approach towards the different income generation activities and development programmes as a cluster reveals the fact that recent trends in the development scenario are highly adopted here.

Mobilizing SHGs into clusters have proven to be highly useful for the sustainability of the initiatives undertaken by them. Each cluster envisages to be a self sufficient community based structure having specialized group of persons for various sections. The networking of various specialized persons within the cluster is found to be the reason for its success. Facilitation for this proper networking is the most important responsibility of an NGO. KIDS began to give prime importance for this facilitation process. The clusters developed and facilitated by KIDS are expected to be models which can be replicated by other NGOs and the Government.

Achievements of KIDS in Natural Fibre Sector
Out of the 30,000 artisanal women in this area, KIDS selected 500 of them to form a Screwpine Craft Cluster at Kodunagllur and 300 women were selected to form Water Hyacinth Craft cluster at Paravur. They were grouped into Self Help Groups and all the 800 women were given training on skill up-gradation.

Organizing Screwpineand Water Hyacinth Artisans into Self Help Groups

KIDS facilitated the formation of 25 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and made 500 craft persons organized in Screwpine Craft Cluster at Kodungallur. Since this craft is entirely dealt by women, all these SHGs formed were women. SHG is envisaged as the basic unit or nucleus of the organizational frame of the Screwpine artisanal cluster of Kodungallur Taluk. The same way 300 selected beneficiaries under water hyacinth craft cluster at Paravur were grouped into 15 Self Help groups. Twenty neighbourhood families of homogeneous character sharing common bondage make an SHG. The fundamental value and thrust of the group is sharing and cooperation.

Registration of KIDS as a Fair Trade Organisation by Fair Trade Forum – India, New Delhi.

Considering the efforts of KIDS in promoting Natural Fibre Crafts and helping the rural poor artisans to earn a sustainable income, KIDS has been registered as a Fair Trade Organisation by Fair Trade Forum India, New Delhi. Fair Trade Forum – India (FTF-I) is the national level networking organization of grassroots artisan/producer groups, facilitating organizations and individuals who comply with the Fair Trade standards. FTF-I represents its member fair trade organizations all over India to grow fair trade visibility & standards through advocacy, lobbying, training and monitoring. Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.

Exemption of Screwpine products from Sales Tax

As a result of KIDS’ continuous communication with Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt. of Kerala, Screwpine crafts have been totally exempted from Sale Tax. Before this exemption, the artisans used to pay 8 % Sales Tax. This Tax Exemption was a great catalyst in increasing the sales and export of Screwpine products.

Inclusion of Screwpine products in Geographical Indication Registry.

The Screwpine crafts of Kerala have been registered under Geographical Indication registry. There is a long history of hard work by KIDS behind the inclusion of Screwpine Crafts in Geographical Indication registry. A geographical indication is an indication or appellation of origin of a product. It is used to identify agricultural, natural or manufactured goods which are originated in the said area and continuing in the same area. The registered products should have a special quality or characteristics or reputation based upon the climatic or production characteristics unique to the geographical location.
By registering under GIR, the Screwpine products of Kerala are conferred a legal protection. It prevents unauthorized use of Screwpine products of Kerala. The registration l boosts exports of the craft and it promotes economic prosperity of poor artisans. This registration also enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries.

Dyeing and Drying Yard

For any industry, hygienic conditions for the workers in a must. In our case, most hygienic dyeing and drying facilities are created for the rural artisan women who work in the natural fibre sector. These SHG women are showing meticulous capacity in performing dyeing using dyes.

Establishment of Sales Emporium

The first time in the State KIDS has been awarded full fledged sales Emporium by the Ministry of Textiles for the promotion of natural fibre products of the SHG artisans of the area. This Emporium is a great help for the poor rural artisans who otherwise find it very difficult to market the products in an organized manner.

Resource Centre on Natural Fibre Craft

In 2009, KIDS was awarded a cluster project under Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana (AHVY) for the Enhancement of Screwpine Craft based at Kodungallur by the office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles. The development of this cluster of Screwpine artisan women is considered a model for the entire country. In recognition of the remarkable achievements of this cluster, KIDS has been awarded a Resource Centre for the Natural Fibre Craft as part of the Eleventh five Year Plan of the country. There is not even a BOARD or a CORPORATION for the promotion of the wide variety of Natural fibres of the country. The present Resource centre is even more important as the year 2009 has been declared as the international year for Natural fibre by the United Nations General Assembly.

Development of other departments
Simultaneously KIDS began to develop other departments as it came to light that an integrated development of people and Society is possible only when their health, education and economic stability is taken care of. Following are the other areas KIDS focussed to make its impact on human development.

  • Human Resource Development Department
  • Micro-Enterprises & Microfinance Department
  • Natural Resource Management Department
  • Community Health Department
  • Children’s Development Department
  • Educational Department
  • Fishermen Development Department
  • Tribal Development Department
  • Disaster Management Department
  • Sayamprabha (Graceful Frowth Program for the Elderly)
  • Differentially Abled Sections Department

Other Areas of Intervention

• Campaign for the eradication of plastic
• Legal literacy and legal action sectors
• V-Guard: A joint venture of manufacturing stabilizer units, which provides job opportunities for women