Who We Are?

Accompanying the Marginalized People in Tamil Nadu since 1984

Founded in 1984 at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, IDEAS began playing a significant role as Regional Resource Centre for various kinds of marginalized groups in society: Dalits, Women, Unorganized Labourers, Sri Lanka Tamil Repatriates working as bonded labourers in the commercial forests of Kodaikanal Hills, Tamil Refugees from Sri Lanka, Dalit Christians, Arunthathiyars, Puthirai Vannars, Palaiyar and Pulayar Tribes on Kodaikanal Hills, and the Nomadic Tribes in the plains. Various civil society organizations working with these groups have also benefited from the institute’s services.

Right from its inception, the focus of the institute is the empowerment of the marginalized groups in order to become people’s movements for accessing and enjoying their constitutional rights and entitlements.

 What We Do?

Given the current trends of the fast track corporatization of the market and the state, the aggressive religio-cultural nationalistic politics, increasing rate of discrimination and atrocities against Dalits, women and children, the institute has turned its lens today in a new direction: socio-political, legal and economic capacitation and empowerment of Dalit Women, Women facing Violence, Widows and Manual Scavenging Workers. Challenges posed to democracy and secularism today is another important area of concern.

Top on the list of activities are the Training Programs for people’s movements/organizations conducted in and outside the Institute on a wide range of themes including socio-cultural analysis, leadership skills, legal literacy, patriarchy and gender rights, etc. Besides Issue Involvement through legal information, guidance and judicial interventions, Research & Publications for advocacy purposes is another important activity. Seminars and Workshops enable teachers, NGOs, cadres and leaders of people’s movements to develop their communication skills, acquire media knowledge and learn social video production skills. The institute’s Knowledge Services include library facilities and e-documentation despatch on current social issues. Collaboration with Jesuit Madurai Province social action centres and other institutions, with national Jesuit social centres and with Church agencies involved social action expands the scope of the institute’s activities.

Given that the achievements of the past 32 years are indeed a powerful testimony to what the institute had envisioned, done and impacted, the decades to come offer it newer challenges to serve the marginalised with deeper commitment and greater vigour.


Address: IDEAS, 26/A Valaithoppu, Chimthamani Road, Madurai – 625001, India


Fr. Sebasti L Raj
Fr. Paul Michael Raj, S.J.
Managing Trustee
Fr. Sahaya Philomin Raj, S.J.
Fr. Selvanayagam, S.J.
Fr. Michael Jeyaraj, S.J.


Fr. Paul Mike. S. J.
Executive Director of IDEAS-LAAS & Programme Director: Multi-level Capacitation of Civil Society Actors
Fr. Sahaya Philomin Raj, S.J.
Advocate, Treasurer & Programme Director: Eradication of Manual Scavenging & Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers
Fr. Aloysius Irudayam, S.J.
Programme Director: Advocacy Research & Human Rights Education; Library & Documentation Service
Sr. Roseline Mary FSPM
Co-ordinator: Women’s Unit
Ms. Sahaya Satya
Librarian & E-Documentation
Mr. Muniyandi
Training Co-ordinator; Print Documentation
Mr. Mahalingam
Mr. Paramasivam
Mrs. Sheela
Mr. Rathinam
Maintenance & Catering in-charge
Mr. Kalimuthu
Cleaner, Gardener
Fr. Paul Mike S.J.
Fr. Michael Raj, S.J
Fr. Philomin Raj, S.J.
Ms. Jeno
Senior Accountant