Volunteers Guidelines

Dear Friends,

"Vanakkam" (Greetings)

We warmly welcome you to India, State of Tamil Nadu, Genguvarpatti Village, and to St. Joseph's Development Trust, your "dream destination during the last few days. Dr.I.Sebastian, FSC. The executive Director, the Staff, and children of PudhuVasantham and PudhuUdhayam, are delighted to welcome you and share our lives with you during your stay with us.We promise you that you will definitely have enriching experience during your stay here.

Your presence among us is a sign of your generosity and we are in deep appreciation of your generosity and we are in deep appreciation of your generous involvement. We are indeed so pleased that you have taken your time to spend with us. May your tribe increase!

We wish that during your stay with us. You are able to gather numerous "pleasant memories". We are happy to make this a reality.It is for sure that you are going to take a lot of wonderful memories to cherish in the life to come. Your perception of the world, friends and everyone will be changed. We are looking forward to have you in our amidst and give you excellent experience.

St. Joseph's Development Trust

Geographical Location

The head office of St. Joseph's Development Trust is situated at the foot of Palani Hills ( also known as Kodaikanal Hills), which forms part of Western Chats in the southern part of Indian Sub- Continent. It is about 70 KMs from Madurai, a historical city, traditionally renewed for cultural music (Carnatic), dance (Bharadhanattiyam), art, sculpture and Tamil (local vernacular) literature.

The local social fabric

The primary occupation of the local people is agriculture. They cultivate Paddy, Maize, Sugarcane and Coconut during the year. Social values are centredon patriarchal eminence, prearranged marriage, joint-family, and village council. The average rural literacy rate is 56%. Superstitious practices due to lack of proper information, and prevalent poverty due to agricultural misfortunes are the basis for most of the social evils - social segregation of women, family indebtedness promoting mass migration from traditional homeland to urban centers, female infanticide, physical abuse of women and children by male chauvinists, and lack of healthy and conducive environment for the children.


St. Joseph's Development Trust was founded by Bro. I. Sebastian FSC, in 1992. Since its inception the idea of serving the poorest of the poor was the main thrust of the organization. The mission of SJDT was inspired by the ideals of St. Baptise DeLa Salle who expressed his believe in God and in humanity through the virtues of Faith ( in God) and Zeal ( service to the humanity). Within SJDT the faith in God is reflected thought a deep trust and confidence in servings the underprivileged sections of the society. The Zeal is represented through our eagerness and enthusiasm that help in actions while serving the poor. To activate our service to the poor, Faith and Zeal have to go together. Education and the community developmental service are two main thrusts of our organization.


Today St. Joseph's Development Trust stands tall in serving the humanity with 900 SHGs in 6 districts (Theni, Dindigul, Puthukottai, Nagargoil, Nagapattinam and Tiruneveli) of TamilNadu. The extensive services of SJDT bear witness to the consistent involvement, the organization has had with the society.There are still many more sections of the society which need to be catered to. We continue our involvement hoping to create a social ambiance in which human persons will be treated with justice and equality.

Guidelines for Residential Guests at St. Joseph's Development Trust

Dear Guest,

We are extremely happy to welcome you. The following are few information that may help you during your stay with us. Please feel free to clarify


1. Passport / Visa

2. Communication with SJDT

Letter correspondence through regular post takes 10 to 25 days. Communication through faxes, e-mails and telephone calls sure and faster. Our official phone number is +91 (0) 9442642486. Leave this number with your family for urgent calls. Our e-mail address: sponsor@sjdt.in

While making arrangements for your arrivals at SJDT, kindly make sure that your proposed date of arrival is confirmed by SJDT. Month of April and May are examination and holiday months for our schools.

We don't have phone facility. You need to bring your 4G phone and we can arrange for SIM card for your use.

3. Medical care

Kindly take necessary vaccines like Polio, Tentanus, Diphtheria, Thphus, Hepatitis A+B, Rabies, Meningokokken Meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis.

Kindly consult your local physician and take appropriate action.

We have mosquitos and thus you need to have necessary repellent to avoid mosquito bites.

Other precaution

Bring appropriate medicines for the prevention / treatment of Malaria, diarrhea, and common cold. However such medicines are also available in India. You may also bring some basic antibiotics and sterilized needles for personal use during your travel outside of our campus.

4. Finance

US $, Euros, traveller cheques are accepted in India; you can change these currencies into Indian Rupees in all major towns and cities. Popular International credit cards are also accepted in shops and hotels. If you need help in changing your currency into our local money we extend our help in doing so.

5. Things to Bring with you:


1) Accommodation:

You will be accommodated at PudhuVasantham Girls village and PudhuUdhayam, a school for differently challenged. The rooms have attached bathrooms, individual cots with mattresses, bed- sheets and pillows.

If you come with a companion you need to share the room and the room will have two separate cots.

2) Drinking water:

Sterilized and filtered water in thirty liter cans is available for drinking purpose in the Dining Hall. If you need one liter bottles for your use you need to afford them to buy.Do not drink water from any other source.

3) Prayer:

You are welcome to join the evening prayer services and weekly Eucharist organized for the children. However feel free to decide for yourself.

4) Transport:

Public transport is available at the entrance (Murugathuranpatti or Pallapatti) of PudhuVasanthamto all the places.

5) First - Aid:

Medicine is readily available for minor cuts, cold, stomachache, etc. There is a well - equipped Hospital at Madurai for regular medical Treatments. Get in touch with the chief Co-coordinator/ Executive Director, for your medical needs.

7) Banking

The banking facilities are available at Nilakotai,Pallapatti and Batlagundu.

8) Dress code:

You can wear casual dress while you are inside the campus. But while you visit our project sites the dress need to be more formal (full pants with casual tops).

9) Facilities at Madurai (15 Kms from PudhuVasantham)

10). Facilities at Madurai (35kms from PudhuVasantham)


1. Food and special diet

Simple South Indian food will be provided with in the campus. If you need any other special food out of the normal menu, kindly arrange to purchase and prepare it by yourself without disrupting the regular work of the kitchen staff. Kindly consult the Chief Co-ordinator/Executive Director with regard to such needs.For the purpose of providing food and accommodation the guest will be charged € 15 per day.

2. Room Cleaning

The visitors intending to stay for longer duration are requested to clean your rooms at least once a week by themselves. The bed covers and the towels provided by the Chief Co-ordinator have to be taken care of by the guests themselves. Make your own arrangements to wash your personal cloths as well regularly.

3. Relationship with the children

Do not invite or entertain any of the children in your rooms. If you wish to distribute any gifts to the children, kindly consult the Chief Co-ordinator/ Executive Director in order to avoid misunderstandings among the children.

4. Relationship with the staff:

Kindly maintain cordial relationship with all the staff within the campus. The staff are not expected to invite any of the visitors to their private homes. If you receive such invitations, kindly clarify the appropriateness with the Chief Coordinator/Executive Director.

5. Personal tour plans

Kindly plan well ahead and inform the Chief Co-ordinator/ Executive Director of your intention to go out for your personal purposes. This will help us to avoid any misunderstanding with your commitment to prescribed tasks and your presence with us.


We have tried to provide some basic information for your stay with us. However,if any things need to be clarified, please feel free to ask. We are eager to assist you.

May your "Indian Adventure" be a memorable one.


VANAKKAM "Greetings" (can be used at any time and anywhere)
OON PEYAR ENNA? What is (Your) name?
ENNA PEYAR... My name is ....
VAA Come
INGGA VAA Come here
THAMBI Younger Brother (used to Boy)
ANNAA Elder Brother
THANGACHEE Younger Sister (used to call small girls)
AKKAA Elder Sister
ENNA VILAI What is the price?