About us

Our Mission

CRUSADE will fulfill its vision working with the community to:

  • Centre for Rural Systems and Development (CRUSADE) is a Registered Voluntary Development Organisation with the overall aim of poverty reduction and social advancement of marginalized and most vulnerable poor in rural Tamil Nadu.
  • Empowering the poor and marginalized women for their social and economic well-being and facilitate their political participation in panchayat institutions by organizing self-sustaining Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • Facilitating hygienic and healthier living through education, training and required medical intervention by alternate systems of medicines and promotion of medicinal plants.
  • Enabling the disabled to lead better and dignified life through required interventions in availing Government schemes, medical facilities and income generation.
  • Improving social and individual infrastructure by facilitating institutional aids and financial assistance.

Our Vision

Initiate and nurture self-reliant people’s organizations and empowering the poor and marginalized through local governance to achieve better livelihood.

Crusade adopts the following values to achieve its mission
  • Without caste or religious discrimination
  • Gender equality
  • Transparency
  • Honesty
  • Non violence


Centre for Rural Systems and Development (CRUSADE), founded in 1991, works closely with communities to alleviate poverty and to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor. CRUSADE aims to build secure, productive and just communities in rural Tamil Nadu. CRUSADE works in 130 villages in two development blocks of Minjur and Sholavarm in rural Tiruvallur district north of Chennai, covering 200,000 population.


CRUSADE began its work in villages around Minjur in backward Tiruvallur District near Chennai to provide a better quality of life to the poor. In the late 90’s, CRUSADE extended its work to Sholavaram block. Presently, CRUSADE works in 200 villages in 60 Panchayat, reaching out to 2,00,000 people.

The initial interaction of CRUSADE was through forming women Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Having successfully formed self-sustaining viable SHG’s, CRUSADE today facilitates their political participation through Panchayat Institutions.

Witnessing the continuous struggles and discrimination of people with disability, from late 90s CRUSADE initiated programmes to defend their rights and secure access to basic support as well. Presently, CRUSADE organizes the people with disability into village/Panchayat wise special groups to enable them to exercise their rights to demand the State services and influence state policies when the groups are further federated.

With the success of formation of women groups, CRUSADE felt that the poorest of poor were sidelined and were struggling to eke out a living. CRUSADE interacts with the poorest to address their urgent needs- be it medical, housing, economic or support to their children’s education.

Presently, CRUSADE is also engaged in capacity building of Gram Panchayat Presidents at a wider level in the whole of Tamil Nadu through a movement “Grama Suryasarbu Iyakkam” (GSI) involving a network of NGOs, with the main objective of lobbying the state to devolve more funds, functions and functionaries ( FFFs) to village Panchayat.

CRUSADE’s strategy is to initiate and nurture peoples’ organizations and equip them to be self-reliant. Range of activities include organizing, awareness creation, capacity building, providing knowledge, skills, systems & advocacy.

CRUSADE's Board Members

Mr. C.R. Rajagopal President
Mr. S.R. Jothiramalingam Secretary
Mr. S.K. Jayachandran Treasurer
Mr. A.Vijayaraman E. C. Member
Mr. C. Kumar Member
Ms. Rita Raj Member
Mr. K.Kunasekaran Member


  1. Mr. S.R. Jothiramalingam, Secretary
  2. Mr. K.Sakthivel, Programme Associate (Income Generation)
  3. Dr. Vasantharasan, Medical Officer (BHMS)
  4. Cluster Coordinators (8)
  5. Health Volunteers (12)
  6. Administration (4)
  7. Support staff (5)
  8. Consultants (2)

Our Partners