AREAS OF OPERATION  
  Established in the year 1966, the Changanacherry Social Service Society is the official organization for social action and development interventions in diocese of Changanacherry irrespective of caste, creed or community. The Society draws inspiration from the Christian love as well as the social teachings of the Church. Its guiding philosophy is that every human being is created in the image and likeliness of God and has the right and responsibility for dignified existence with equal share in the social capital. Hence, the vision of the Organization may be stated, "A Just Society based on Human Values". The mission accepted and being carried out by the Society is Sustainable Development of the Poor and Marginalized through Community Organization Awareness and Training.  
  The Archbishop is the patron of the Society and the Vicar General, the ex-officio President. The Secretary is the Chief Executive Functionary responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the organization besides project management and financial matters. The Secretary is co-served by an assistant Director in the discharge of organization and operational responsibilities.  
  Like all other church based voluntary organizations of 1960's, the Changanacherry Social Service Society started off as a charity and relief oriented undertaking mainly relying on CRS supplies and Caritas assistance. Similarly, housing and other social welfare services stood in the forefront of the Social Apostolate in the Archdiocese. During the evolution of 43 years, the Society passed through different situations and phases with objectives fine tuned in to people initiated, self propelled and sustainable development processes attuned with empowered human resource conditions and equitable appropriation of community resources in its fully developed, but regenerated manner.  
  In strict abidance of the Law concerning the Charitable Societies, the Changanacherry Social Service Society follows a democratic pattern of governance having General Body constituted of CBO representatives from the grassroots together with special nominees/subject experts and elected Governing Body. One third of the membership is reserved for women both in the General Body and the Governing Body. The CBOs referred to are the Local Social Service Units of CHASS representing different functional grassroots organizations of stakeholders, namely, Credit Union, Mahilasamajams, Self Help Group and Farmers Clubs  
  In response to spiraling rural unemployment among the youth CHASS plunged in to employment linked vocational training program by mid 1970's in a massive scale in collaboration with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, which is still in vogue. But, the subsequent Gram Vikas Training program in 1980 masterminded by ISI Extension Services set the launching pad for people motivated and grassroots based processes of community development. As a result, trained local leaders emerged as community development volunteers and mobilization processes got in motion, culminating into establishment of 'Grama Vikas Sabhas' (Local units of CHASS) starting from 1986. The role and support of Caritas India is specially recorded here for the series of diocesan motivation seminars conducted during the transitional period. This immediately followed thrift and credit activities under the aegis of local units with the title of Credit Union.  
  The overriding presence of women in the rural mobilization processes has paved way for gender specific organizational entities named as 'Mahilasamajam' in the villages, as equal to credit unions. Broadly basing the scope of Mahilasamajams, Self Help Groups (SHG) have come to exist in a substantial numbers and plethora of micro credit supported income generation programs and micro enterprises engaged by women, giving relief to the women's empowerment thrust of CHASS.  
  Nevertheless, the Society's presence has been always there in the agricultural sector, the rural economic mainstay. All the while, it has been extending services to the paddy farmers in Kuttanadu by arranging seeds and other forms of support especially the aftermath of crop devastation. However, special reference is made to the project named 'Rubber to the Poor' gained popularity in the area during late 1980's under intervention of CHASS. As part of it a central agriculture nursery got established with range of supplies and services gradually broad based in all relevant branches of agricultural plantations. The achievement made during this period by the Society in promoting and propagating vegetable and medicinal plant cultivation has even caught the attention of the media by giving coverage both in press and visual media.  
  During 1990's the Society moved along with community health interventions in a significant manner with special focus on the waterlogged and calamity stricken Kuttanadu region vulnerable to epidemics. Also, the slums/ colonies remained special targets for the health program.  
  The current decade has seen CHASS as a staunch promoter and nodal implementing agency for diverse environmental projects/ activities with innovation. Starting from 1999, the Society has in the meantime completed five watershed projects. Other specific environment related mass projects to be stated are rainwater-harvesting structures, waste management through vermin composting, ESP latrine, bio gas plants etc.  
     
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