EY Foundation (EYF) through its partnership with Action for Social Advancement (ASA), a not-for-profit organization, has joined hands with the Jharkhand State Livelihoods Promotion Society (JSLPS) and Department of Rural Development of Jharkhand to work towards advancing the growth of women Self- Help Groups (SHGs) in the state.
Jharkhand has been recognized as India’s second most poor state, according to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The collaboration is an attempt to address the issue of low incomes in rural communities while supporting the objectives laid down by the JSLPS to create a socio-economically developed state.
During the three-year program, EYF and ASA will work together to create inclusive growth strategies and empower the underprivileged women community from the economically weaker blocks in Jamtara and Pakur districts. The initiative is expected to impact livelihoods of over 60,000 women in SHGs, by providing them with greater access to credit and potentially generating micro-entrepreneurship opportunities for them. Further, the SHGs will be provided guidance on effectively mobilizing resources under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr Bishnu C Parida, Chief Operations Officer of JSLPS, Government of Jharkhand, said, “This partnership to encourage rural livelihood value chain activity is innovative and will bring significant positive changes in the lives of rural communities.”
Sridhar Iyer, National Director, Corporate Social Responsibility- EY said, “Our efforts have always been to maximize reach by leveraging the existing government platforms and models of social change that have been successful. While the government and banks will be responsible for mobilizing the program’s resources in the form of grants, subsidies and loans, The Foundation will play the role of a technical support agency, working to build the capacity of the existing government staff and ensure proper implementation of relevant flagship programs.” The Foundation expects to mobilize more than INR150 crores for the beneficiaries through MGNREGA in the next three years, a significant part of which will be directed toward natural resource management.
Ashish Mondal, Director from Action for Social Advancement (ASA) added, “This collaborative project will prove to be a milestone as it builds on the strength of the Government and civil society organizations. In my opinion, the success of this model will encourage more such collaborative social development-focused initiatives in the future.“
EYF is also working with CInI, a Tata Trust initiative, helping about 12,000 tribal families to become a part of the ‘Lakhpati Kisan Programme’, and enhance incomes of marginal tribal farmers to over INR1,00,000 a year. It aims to increase this reach to 30,000 families in the coming months. At a national level, the foundation is supporting rural empowerment programs across 10 states and creating a positive impact on the lives of over 2,00,000 women in more than 3,000 villages. The states include Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.