Past Activities : Income Generation

The objectives of the foundation is to create long term sustainable income generation for village women. We have taken systematic steps by training the villagers in Income generation activities and providing the needy villagers an alternative sources of income. The women have been trained in pappad making, aggarbatti, natural fiber articles and card making. We have also started Micro credit scheme, by offering interest free loan for purchase of cows and buffaloes. Many farmers have received training in Vermi Culture and have been producing their own vermicompost.

a. Micro Credit : Access to credit is one of the most critical problems for rural Indians. Following the Mohammed Younis's example in Bangladesh, we also believe that self administered and locally run micro credit is a step in the right direction. We have therefore set up an initial fund to be run by the villagers. The loans will be give for the purpose of income generation-starting a new business, expanding an existing one and will be given to an individual and shall be interest free. The Village committee will decide the persons eligible and each village committee will consist of equal men and women who will be trained by local bank official.

b. Animal Husbandry : The foundation has taken advantage of Government subsidy of offering interest free loans to poor and needy farmers for purchase of buffaloes. This scheme has achieved great success as it has helped raise the monthly income of the family.

c. Vermi Culture : We introduced the novel method of effective utilization of farm, and household waste in obtaining natural manure rich in minerals known as Vermicompost. This scheme was introduced in 1997 and today 80 tons of vermicompost and vermiwash are being generated and used in the village kitchen gardens and local nurseries.

d. Women's Income Generation Activities : As a means to enhance women's earning power which has a direct relationship to their status and position within their household and raises their standard of living we have been training women in various income generation activities such as pappad making, aggarbatti,potato wafers, natural fiber articles and card making. This has helped them earn additional income from sale of these articles.

Some Milestones

We have attempted to make a difference in the lives of men and women and our efforts have concentrated on Income generation activities for all the village as a whole. One of our major success stories is the Animal Husbandry Loan Program as each village has availed of this scheme. By providing the farmers loans to purchase milk bearing animals we have provided them an alternative source of income. At Bharan the women's group have taken the initiative to secure loans and purchase animals, and they will oversee the repayment procedures.

The foundation has recently started the Micro Credit Scheme which is also a success story in the villagers of Kadvali, Dhamni, and Kumbahvali. The Micro Credit Program has helped the villagers access to credit, which is otherwise not easily accessible to this strata of society. By launching this scheme many villagers have set up small shops and started their own small scale business. It may be noted that though these loans are interest free and we faced skepticism among many persons regarding the repayment of these loans but we are glad to state that the villagers have been very prompt in making their loan repayments.

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Gharda Foundation, 6B Gharda House, 48 Hill Road, Next to Elco Market, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400 050, Maharashtra, INDIA.Tel: +91 22 66265600 Fax : +91 22 26404224