RWDS was promoted in 1986 as a response to the growing issues and marginalizing of the Rural Women of the Tiruvannamalai district.

Internalizing the grass root violation of human rights of women specifically of Dalits women and the pertinent need for asserting the rights of these hapless women, RWDS started to intervene in three Blocks in Tiruvannamalai district. Initially the organization focused more on the programs for awareness promotion among the rural women and the rural poor towards development of socially neglected women. The work started with organizing the rural women, small farmers and marginalized farmers. Focus was more on welfare and rehabilitation in this phase.

Gradually there was a shift in the focus of the organization. The need for social transformation was internalized and consciously addressed in the programs. In this period the target area was expanded. Women sangams were formed and the groundwork was initiated towards promotion of a district level dalit women’s movement. Following the promotion of a movement among the dalit women, the shift in focus was on the comprehensive community development. In this phase a federation among the dalit youth was promoted as promoted as a support for the dalit women movement to uphold their rights and for addressing the concerns of the Dalits.

During this period it was internalized that to achieve women empowerment there is a need for working among men. Hence RWDS started organizing dalit youth and dalit flower cultivators. Dalit youth federation was promoted and the flower cultivators were organized as a unit under one cooperative society so that they could be redeemed from the clutches of the exploitation of middlemen.

Internalizing the need for strengthening the economic base of the women, RWDS has been promoting livelihood opportunities among the dalit women and is striving to facilitate the process of polotocal participation for dalit women. RWDS believes that enhancement of economic opportunities and meaning full participation in the democracy will uplift the dalit women to overcome poverty and social exploitation.