‘Livelihoods’ is at the core of MYRADA’s interventions. A domain with links to every other domain of our work, securing livelihoods has been our major concern even from the days of the Tibetan resettlement.
There are certain activities that are directly aimed at improving livelihoods. However other interventions – especially in natural resources, agriculture, livestock promotion, vocational education and skills training, though not in the livelihood domain, contribute towards ensuring the security of lives and livelihoods of the communities that we work with.
Early livelihood interventions with Indian communities included participation in the government Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), identifying the poor and ensuring that benefits of government programmes reached the poor. Grants were provided directly to poor families for taking up agricultural/livestock improvement activities or small businesses. Apart from these extension services such as demonstration plots, training for better agricultural practices, animal health services were also provided. It worked actively with banks to ensure that IRDP loans and crop loans were given to the real por.
After it began working with the SAGs MYRADA began to actively lobby for the credit needs of the poor. Work with these groups and poor farmers provided insights into the livelihood needs of the poor. MYRADA soon realised that the poor need a basket of income generating activities; this is so that they can depend on source of income if another one fails. As a result their credit needs are also such that they need several small doses of credit over a many small cycles. The SAGs learned to tailor their financial transactions according to needs of its members. Such lessons helped MYRADA influence policy makers and today self help groups are a recognised means of poverty alleviation with many government and non-government agencies routing their livelihood programmes through such groups.
Currently MYRADA implements livelihoods programmes on most projects. SAGs are an important feature of these programmes. Livelihood programmes include
- Support to individuals for agriculture development, animal rearing, productivity enhancement
- Many loans taken by SAGs are directly related to livelihood improvement – for example loans for income generation activities (including upgrading infrastructure, purchase of stock, assets, agriculture loans, etc.)
Details of ongoing livelihood programmesclick here
MYRADA has implemented many livelihood programmes over the past four decades.
Early interventions in the livelihood domain included increase of agricultural production and productivity and livestock.
For details of livelihood programmes implemented in the past click here