DARD is the development organization established with the aim to uplift the poor and needy of the diocese with special concentration to the Tribal hubs of Idukki district. Highlighted areas and projects of DARD are as follows:
Vattavada Child Development Project
Since 1984 Kottayam- Kochi Diocese is involved in the total development of the Vattavada Panchayat This is the remotest Panchayat of Kerala situated 45 kilometers away from Munnar and 5000 ft from the sea level. Vattavada Panchayat comprises of 8 villages with a dominant population of Scheduled Tribes and Castes. People of these hubs are illiterate and strong superstitious belief. In order to make them literate, we give remedial education to the regular school going students. Presently 197 students are getting free food and uniform and study materials and remedial education.
Snehadeepthi L.P. School, Koviloor
We have started this school to enlighten these tribal hubs and encouraged the parents to send their kids to school. We provided free uniform, study materials and midday meal to promote them to continue in their studies. At present we have 40 kids in the nursery class only. With a special mission we selected 4 students from Vattavada Panchayat and brought them to the Mar Thoma Students Centre, Trikkakara.
Girideepthi Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Memorial Hostel for Tribal Boys, Trikkakara
This hostel for the tribal boys was started in 1984,by the proposal of Mar Thoma Students' conference, as a fond memory to the Late Dr.. Thomas Mar Athanasius Episcopa of the Mar Thoma Church. Presently we accommodate 80 tribal boys, selected from different tribal hubs of High range. They are getting free accommodation, uniform, study material and food until they complete the school final. After the successful completion of school final, we send them to college or Vocational Training according to their choice.
Girideepthi Industrial Training Centre, Ponjasserry
This Training Centre has been started with the objective of equipping tribal and other students from economically weaker class of the community. Students get a job oriented training from this Centre which enable them to tit in they society.
Balika Mandiram, Perumbavoor
Girl students from the tribal belts and other weaker communities been selected and given better education through this center. Presently 70 girls students are getting free education with all facilities up to their school final. Those who are successfully completing their school final are sending for higher studies at free of cost.
Girigeetha Lower Primary School, Chinnappara
We have started this school, as this tribal settlement is isolated from the main stream of civilization. This settlement is 4 kms away from Adimaly and surrounded by mountains. Main population of this settlement is Mannan who hold strong rivalry with the Muthuvan clan of the tribes. This school is exclusively for the Mannan community. Bright students are selected and sending them to Girideepthi Hostel for higher education.
Girideepthi Farmers' Society, Koviloor
Most of the Farmers in the Vattavada panchayat are bonded to the traditional merchants, who lent money to the farmers for vegetation. This society has been started to liberate them from the merchant lobby and promote vegetation by their own. We provide seeds and manure for group farming so that landless farmers can also earn their livelihood. 50 families has joined in this society and doing group farming and selling their vegetables for good price.
Mar Thoma Retreat Home, Matt petty Road, Munnar
Munnar, the Kashmir of South India and the summer resort of the British Raj, situated at the confluence of three mountain rivulets, 4500 ft above the sea level. Breath taking panoramic views of misty mountains and evergreen plantations that stretches across the horizon. Which is unique in motive by sparing all its proceeds for the different development projects in a high range. A meditative stay at Mar Thoma Retreat home will give that pleasure and privilege to join into the mission of uplifting the poor. "Join us to serve others better"