Arumugam Karpooram

Development Practitioner & Child Rights Advocate

Active in Country: India

DTP Alumnus: 16th Annual Program 2006 - Timor Leste


K. Arumugam, lives in Tamil Nadu, India. He participated in the 16th Annual Human Rights and People’s Diplomacy Training for Human Rights Defenders from the Asia-Pacific Region and Indigenous Australia, from 26th November to 13th December, 2006 held in Timor Leste. Since 2006 he has worked for a number of organizations and considers that the DTP training has contributed to his work in each instance. Since his participation in the training, he has focused a lot of his work on the rights of children.

From May 2015 to October 2017 K Arumugam worked as a District Project Officer in Ramanathapuram District on a Community Based Disaster Risk Management project supported by the World Bank for the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Through this project, VDMTs (Village level Disaster Management Teams), VDMCs (Village-Panchayat level-Disaster Management Committees) were formed in 180 coastal villages with the involvement of the local communities.

The risk management training included first aid and swimming training for coastal school students, training for first responders, members of early warning teams, evacuation teams, search and rescue teams, first aid teams, shelter management teams, as well as village level orientation training and street play programmes.

K. Arumugam considers it of greatest importance to focus on the children in the coastal villages of Ramanathapuram district since the children of the fishing community going to government schools are more vulnerable to such natural disasters as tsunamis, flood, high tidal waves, drought, cyclones, etc.

About 232,000 people of 180 coastal villages of Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu have benefited from these trainings through mass awareness programmes on disaster management. 

Prior to this latest project K. Arumugam worked as a regional associate partner at India Trust and SpellBee International supporting teachers and students in 63 schools in Dindigul district preparing students to participate in inter-school level, state level, national and international competitions in English.

He has also worked as a Consultant at SKECH Trust (Sri Kannapiran Educational & Charitable Trust) – an NGO working for farmers and agricultural labourers, at Mudhukulathur, Ramanadhapuram District and the NGO, the Anna Ram Foundation, addressing children’s issues in Madurai district.

In 2006 K. Arumugam joined the NGO, Upakar Educational Society and was elected Secretary of the organization working for tsunami-affected people. He organized child rights education programmes in schools in Madurai district with the support of local youths and civil societies, organized rehabilitation programs for orphaned children in Madurai district, and organized computer application and management training for street and working children and urban poor youths of Madurai city. Before his service with Upakar Educational Society, he worked at various projects addressing the issue of child labour and child rights through NGOs including Peace Trust and Global March Against Child Labour, from 1990 to 2005. He directly worked with 6,000 child labourers and 20,000 poor school students in 480 villages in Tamil Nadu.

After the DTP training in East Timor, through the Upakar Educational Society, he drafted two project proposals for the Smile Foundation, New Delhi and One World Children’s Fund, USA. Upakar Educational Society was dissolved and its resources were subsequently transferred to the Anna Ram Foundation which K. Arumugam founded in 2012. As there was no funding, the Anna Ram Foundation has not been active since December 2013.

K. Arumugam considers that the DTP training added to his credibility with donors such as OWCF USA and the Smile Foundation. The training facilitated his participation in a UN training program in Geneva in 2007 and increased his profile with bureaucrats of the Government of Tamil Nadu. He now use human rights instruments and other tools provided by DTP in the field and particularly among communities and children.

He often refers to the activities of the recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and the former Prime Minister of East Timor Dr. Jose Ramos Horta and his role in getting freedom from Indonesia and his peacekeeping techniques and experiments of East Timor in protecting human rights, peace building, etc.


K. Arumugam faces a number of issues in his work in Tamil Nadu. These include: 

·     Caste based Political Parties

·     Drought and climate changes

·     Real Estate people – the new group who target poor people to do their business and extract the poor by means of land and house business

      Lack of support and funding for his work with children and for their rights which necessitates working with domestic and international government support



      Profile updated June 2018