Jeeva jyothi was founded in 1994 with 4 enthusiastic social activists coming together to bring some ethical changes in the lives of the children in difficult circumstances especially children in the streets and working children. Initially they started working in a village called Kosappur , because while visiting the village there were youth boys already taking free tuition for the children, after talking with them they joined as volunteer for Jeeva jyothi.
Slowly these youth were sensitized about the issue of child labour .i.e. Rag pickers, tea shop cleaner, hotel server, working in hazardous jobs in chemical companies, lathe, colour powder companies, working in cemetery etc.
Main focus was thrown on children in Rag picking at Pammadu Kulam. The children involved with the whole family in picking the rags. While picking the rags they meet with many difficulties dog bite, chased by the dwellers and other Local Rowdies. Our programmes and activities was extended at a large level to supplementary education classes, Non formal education classes, medical assistance, school enrollment, awareness programmes, Creative camps ,Street theatre programmes, Home placement, vocational training, job placement, folk arts training, educational spot etc.
Through these interventions we were able to reach more than 12000 children in North Chennai . Jeeva jyothi was one of the well known NGO in North Chennai for its committed, effective and concerted work among the NGOs working for street and working children. We had been the Convener and co-ordinating agency for the CHENNAI NGO forum, TN NGO Forum for street and working children and other networks.
We initiated a Children assistance booth at Perambur Railway station, through this booth we reached many children who ran away from their families. These children were reintegrated with their families and the children who are not willing to go to their families are admitted in children homes. Sometimes women were also been referred to us by the railway police at that circumstances we give counseling to the women and reunited them with their families and many have been referred to NGOs working for women.
While working with children we came across many orphan children who are in need of proper care and support. Slowly we started a Children home in Perambur nearly 25 children were in the shelter home. All the children are enrolled in formal schools. Since the premises in Perambur was not spacious for the children with not enough for the children, lack of play ground etc, we moved the shelter home to Budhur in Sothupaakham Road near Redhills.
As we started working with the Migrant Bonded Labourers in the Rice Mills and Brick Kilns in and around Redhills area of Thiruvallur District, we identified many children who were working as child labourers along with their families. Thus started the intervention in Redhills. As we worked we started to address the needs of the Migrant Bonded Labourers. We understood that we cannot ensure the rights of the children unless the parents are freed from the bonded labour situation. This has led to numerous legal interventions with the support of District administration and State Human Rights Commission. Bridge School for the Child Labourers, Children manimanram for the mainstreamed children, Child Rights Monitoring Committee for bringing together all stake holders together for the promotion of child rights, Day Care Centre for the Children of Migrant Labourers living in Rice Mills are some of the numerous interventions we initiated for the promotion of child rights.
We worked for the cause of environment protection and promotion. We have conducted many programmes and camps for the environmental issues including preserving nature and reuse and recycle. With this in mind, in 1999 we established a handmade paper Training cum production unit at Kosappur, we are recognized by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The main aim is to recycle the used papers and to provide job opportunity for the women and the youth in the local community.
Community Action for Health under National Rural Health mission was implemented through Jeeva Jyothi as a pilot project in Gummidipoondi and Minjur since 2008 .Since 2012, we are appointed as the Support Organisation for Childline 1098 in Thiruvallur District. We have also started working with the differently able through Community Based Rehabilitation Project for the Persons with Disabilities.
Apart from the above, on a regular basis we have planted trees in all the working areas, schools and given many street theatre performances on this theme. Folk arts training, Street theatre was provided for the children and the staff.