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Samskar (Reform) is an offshoot of Atheist Centreís work among the criminal tribes who are now known as denotified tribes. For decades Gora, Lavanam and Hemalata Lavanam and others from Atheist Centre worked in the Criminal settlements of Andhra Pradesh and initiated steps for criminal reformation. With the persuasion of Atheist Centre, the State Government also extended helping hand by providing land and other facilities to the changed criminals. The socio-psychological rehabilitation of the ex-criminals by Atheist Centre culminated in establishment of a separate Organisation, Samskar, to give further fillip to the efforts. The Criminal reformation efforts are still going on. Programmes are undertaken such as social counselling, economic, educational and social development and also relief and assistance to changed criminals and the aged.

Samskar also took up the programme for the eradication of the Jogini system, which is a remnant of the Devadasi in Telangana region of AP. It is a heinous practice thrust on the poor untouchable women in the remote villages of the erstwhile Hyderabad State. Chelli Nilayam, Sisterís Home, was founded at Varni, in Nizamabad District in 1987 for the Jogins. The socio-psychological counselling programmes helped in changing the attitudes of the erstwhile jogins as well as of the villagers, and it helped in initiating the steps to resolve the problem. Four marriages of Jogins took place in the Governorís Official Residence (Raj Bhavan), in the presence of the then Governor Ms Kumudben Joshi in 1990 and again in the presence of Mrs. Haripriya Rangarajan and Governor Dr. C. Rangarajan in 1999. The efforts of Samskar received impetus with the enactment of Andhra Pradesh Devadasi (Prohibition of Dedication) Act 1988. It was the voluntary effort of organisations like Samskar that gave wide publicity to the Act and brought new awakening among the poor women. The target group of Samskar are devadasis, criminals, old & the aged. Samskar is also engaged in the disaster reconstruction work in Gujarat after the earthquake. Its programs include, health, habitat, livelihood, education and child sponsorship.

It works towards destimatization of communities which are labled as criminals and devadasis through comprehensive developmental approach. Samskar is working in more than 100 villages in Nizamabad and Medak, districts. Mr. Lavanam is the President and Mrs. Hemalata Lavanam is the Secretary of Samskar.


Mr. Lavanam,
Founder Secretary,
Atheist Centre,
Benz Circle,
Vijayawada 520 010,
Andhra Pradesh, INDIA
Phone: +91 866 2475213
Fax: +91 866 2474850
E-mail: lavanam@rediffmail.com