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Message from the Chief Functionary
The Eleutheros Christian Society, which is now most commonly addressed as ‘ECS’ is a community initiative of multiple districts in one of India’s most backward regions in Nagaland. Landlocked and bordering Myanmar in the east, the work began in 1993 as a response to the problem of drug abuse which later got compounded with the prevalence of HIV among the injecting drug user community. The word “Eleutheros” is a Greek word meaning ‘someone freed from’ or ‘not depended on’. The primary agenda was to work for the health of drug users and yet the struggle to help them expanded our domain into the community, to address the environment from which all of these issues were uncovered as symptoms of a larger social disorder. Today ECS works on rural health, education, water & sanitation, livelihoods, and on issues concerning the environment.
The approach has always been to address ‘the lost, the last and the least’, and the word ‘Eleutheros’ in our context, therefore, means to work for a ‘free, fair and a just world’. The organization firmly believes that the community is the only true architect for social change and we can at best be mobilizers and facilitators. We believe that when people own the process, then the pursuit of change becomes inevitable. The organization also firmly believes in values such as common humanity, collective organization, transparency, honesty, and sustained hard work without which we would always be influenced by personal and traditional views.
In much of our programs, we work hand in hand with the government because we purposefully believe that when government systems become reformist then our job to bring change ends, and the pursuit to make change happen becomes easier.
I sincerely hope you will join ECS in this humble effort to ‘brighten the corner’ where we are and maybe become the light, the salt!