Project information

Livelihood Projects in Village India

This project will provide women in India with the resources to help them help themselves. Engaging in income-generation activities will empower women to save and make loans to invest in such livelihoods as goat-rearing, crab-farming and honey production, as well as building sustainable prosperity.

This project is expected to start at the beginning of 2012 and will run for two years.

Charity information: Jeevika Trust

Jeevika Trust logo
  • Need


    Poverty lies at the heart of the problems of all the village communities in which we work. These communities are comprised of the most disadvantaged villagers – women from Scheduled Caste and Tribal groups – who are mostly illiterate and landless and if they do earn any income, can expect to do so only through seasonal farm labour paid at less than £1 per day.


    When given access to the required skills training and resources to undertake income-generation activities, these women demonstrate how their earnings contribute to household income. This then improves family health and nutrition and can enable them to send their children to school. Self-Help Group membership also allows them to invest their small savings in livelihood production and, in this way, women become self-sufficient and contribute to the sustainability of community life.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To expand Self-Help Group (SHG) membership within existing village projects and into nearby villages


    » Invite women from nearby villages to visit SHGs to attend meetings and view livelihood activities, records of savings and the difference it has made
    » Train key SHG women as trainers so they can help form new SHGs, pass on their livelihood skills and knowledge of microcredit savings and banking

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increasing number of disadvantaged women--over 1,000 villagers from Scheduled Caste and Tribal groups--participating in Self-Help Groups and livelihood projects.

    Aim 2

    To strengthen existing livelihood skills and provide resources for activities in new villages


    » Introduce livelihoods to complement existing activities: vermicomposting to support vegetable production; fish to farm ponds; flowers to beekeeping

    What success will look like

    Success will be women earning income to improve family nutrition, assist their children to attend school and generally improve the quality of family, village and community life.

    Aim 3

    To ensure that all SHG members have the necessary literacy, numeracy and financial management skills


    » Microcredit savings & loans workshops will foster understanding of how to manage revolving funds and keep savings & loans records
    » Assist SHGs to make bank linkages or use other savings schemes to help SHGs invest their savings back into their ongoing livelihood production

    What success will look like

    Success will be an improvement in basic literacy & numeracy skills as well as greater understanding of how to manage revolving funds and keep savings & loans records.

    Aim 4

    To ensure that all livelihood activities draw on local resources and participate in local markets


    » Wherever possible, SHGs use local resources, eg. coir from coconuts for rope-making, organic waste for compost, indigenous seeds, local breeds of fish
    » SHGs first undertake exposure visits to see how markets work and are then linked to local markets & retail outlets and, where appropriate, wholesalers

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased levels of honey, goats, crabs, candles, and soap created by the women beneficiaries, maximising their profits while contributing to their local community.

  • Impact


    The project will reverse the relentless downward spiral of poverty, allowing women to improve the quality of life for themselves and their family members, especially children. Over time, this input into family and village life develops the confidence of women to contribute to decision-making within SHGs as well as within village and Panchayat meetings. There will also be a 15-20% increase in incomes in the new villages and a resultant drop in the number of women living in absolute poverty.


    There is a risk that some women will drop-out from the project, especially new beneficiaries, due to the pressure of family responsibilities: past experience has demonstrated that our partner organisations are careful to hold meetings with all villagers – village leaders with male villagers included – to ensure that the whole village participates in project development and everyone is aware of the positive outcomes possible through involvement in the project.


    Our partners provide monitoring and financial reports to Jeevika on a quarterly basis as well as an End-of-Year Evaluation Report. Jeevika’s In-country Representative is in weekly contact with our partners and its Director and Programmes Officer also undertake six-monthly monitoring visits.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £36,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 Training Training & support costs, workshops/mentors
      £6,600 Livelihood resources: Goats Goats (£125 buys 3 she goats and one buck)+insurance, tagging etc
      £8,000 Livelihood resources: Bees Bee hives, wax, bees, hive stands, tool kits
      £2,800 Livelihood resources: Candles Candle making-burners, wax, wicks, dyes, candle molds
      £2,500 Livelihood: Crab cultivation Crab seeds, nets, baskets, twine, etc. (starter kit = £25 pp)
      £2,500 Livelihood resources: Fishing Fish seeds, food, nets (starter kit = £25 pp)
      £3,000 Livelihood: Vermicomposting Fruit trees, organic vegetable seeds, vermicompost tools/equipment (starter kit = £30 pp)
      £4,600 Local project costs Contr. Local field staff (rate £80/month) , Local admin/office costs (Tel/Post/IT)
  • Background


    Four projects will be undertaken in the SE, SW and South of Tamil Nadu, India. The fifth project will take place south of Bhubenswar in Orissa. All projects are based in remote villages where women are predominantly illiterate and innumerate. Opportunities for employment are low and where it does exist women work work as seasonal agricultural labourers for rates less than those paid to men for the same work. Women also suffer the double burden of household duties falling to them alone.


    1. Approximately 1,000 women villagers.
    2. The family members of these women – average family size in these villages is 7, so the project has potential to directly benefit up to 7,000 of the most disadvantaged villagers.
    3. An unknown number of villagers who live within these communities will benefit from the improved quality of life.
    4. Our 5 partners will benefit from Jeevika’s policy to continually build their capacity to manage, deliver, monitor and evaluate Jeevika-linked projects.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Jeevika has 30 years’ experience of ‘capturing the learning’ from the implementation of previous projects working with women to develop livelihood activities. Also, we partner with five organisations whom we have worked with for many years: they are local people from the communities they serve and the villagers trust them to provide support to achieve their goals. We, too, know that we can rely on our partners to meet our rigorous delivery standards and reporting requirements.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ms Priya Anand (Previously Head Of Action Research At Murray Culshaw Consulting, Bangalore)

    In-country Representative closely involved with the support and training of JT’s partners, monitoring and management of project & workshop delivery.

    Ms Judith Crosland (MA In Sociology/Gender Studies, 20+ Yrs Experience Of Project Management In India)

    UK-based Programmes Officer works with partners to ensure that budgets are achieved, lessons captured, and a sustainable impact on poverty delivered.

    Dr Manoranjan Mishra (Executive Director, Jeevan Rekha Parishad In Orissa)

    Currently responsible for delivery of four JT-JRP projects and has worked in the rural development sector for over 24 years.

    Mrs. Siva Kamavalli (Secretary, Women's Organisation In Rural Development)

    Currently responsible for project delivery and works closely with Jeevika in Tamil Nadu, has 20+ years experience addressing social welfare issues.

Dhani, leader of the beekeeping project in Orissa

Dhani, leader of the beekeeping project in Orissa


will pay for one woman's beekeeping starter kit.

If the villages perish, India will perish.

Mahatma Gandhi