Tamil Nadu Foundation is a nonprofit foundation created in 1974 by a group of Americans of Tamil origin who wanted to help people from their native province of Tamil Nadu in India.
Tamil is the last surviving classical language continuously spoken for more than 5000 years and Nadu means “country.”
The purpose of the foundation was clearly stated in the constitution:
- Establish education scholarships in Tamil Nadu, India
- Encourage and recognize those who dedicate their efforts to the improvement and welfare of Tamil Nadu
- Help talented young people achieve distinction in their chosen field in Tamil Nadu
- Help provide technical journals, textbooks and equipment to institutions of learning and to institutions of health care in Tamil Nadu
- Provide assistance at times of emergency when people’s lives are threatened by natural disasters
- Act on any worthy cause affecting Tamil Nadu, India
The organization was founded on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1974, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The founders were Dr. P.G. Periasamy, Dr. R. Palanisamy, Dr. P. Theagarajan, and Dr. P.R, Perumalswami.
TNF was incorporated in Maryland in December 1975, and was given tax-exempt status in June 1976.
Ever since the founding, TNF has functioned to the objectives stated in the constitution. More than 500 projects were sponsored by 750 family members of TNF. These projects have touched excess of 100,000 people in Tamil Nadu and made a difference
in their lives
Justice Venugopal, former chairman of the board of trustees, said, “Over the years, Tamils have emigrated into more than 23 countries but only the Tamil from the USA have formed a foundation to make a difference in the life of the Tamil people.”
Among the many ethnic groups in USA, Tamils are the only ones who have built a center in their capital city to exclusively administer charitable projects.
In 2009, data analysis of TNF projects showed that the four pillars of the Tamil Nadu Foundation are:
- Education Enhancement
- Women’s Empowerment
- Rural Development
- Health & Hygiene
Information collected on these four pillars are used to improve the current and future TNF projects.