The Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) is a voluntary organization (a registered society) committed to science popularization and education. Started in 1980 by a group of research scholars of Madras University, it functioned during the 80's mainly as an organizer of popular science lectures. In 1987, with the starting of Thulir, a monthly children's science magazine in Tamil, the group moved on to science communication among children. During the years 1987 to 1991, it mobilized school science teachers in a large way and started organizing efforts in teacher re-orientation so as to make science eudction more enjoyable.
The starting of Total Literacy Campaigns in 1991 in Tamil Nadu turned out to be a turning point for TNSF. The group provided the lead in these campaigns by assisting the District Literacy Societies in planning the various aspects of the campaign. Its members got involved in a big way in the implementation of the programme in the first 10 districts in which these campaigns were taken up. This experience brought TNSF into a meaningful relationship with extremely poor and oppressed sections of our society, and completely transformed its agenda and the style of its functioning.
Currently, apart from the core area of Science Communication, TNSF is active on the following fronts too: Universal Education, Universal Health Care, Women's Self-reliance, Environment Education and Sustainable Development.
TNSF is a secular and democratic organization and its membership is open to all. TNSF is a registered society, an executive committee coordinates its activities, and the accounts are formally audited. All the activities of TNSF are funded by one of the following:
a. Revenue generated from the sale of its publications.
b. Donations from individuals and institutions.
c. Funding from specific sources within India for specified purposes and duration.
TNSF has committed activists in almost all the districts of Tamil Nadu, and its strength lies mainly in rural areas. Below, we present a brief idea of TNSF's work in various areas during the last few years.