Project information

Help women in Odisha to fulfil their potential

This project will help women in Odisha’s tribal communities, who are among India’s most disadvantaged groups, to find solutions to poverty and marginalisation. Through Self-Help Groups and training, it will support women to contribute more to family income generation and speak out for their rights.

January 2016 - December 2016

Charity information: All We Can

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  • Need


    The low status and income of women in Odisha’s tribal villages contributes to ongoing debt, malnutrition, ill-health and isolation in families and wider communities. They are among India’s most marginalised groups, yet many are not aware of their rights to access land, work and housing via state schemes. While some people have successfully claimed land, without appropriate skills it remains unusable, so they still have to work long hours away as daily labourers, and children miss out on school.


    Working through Women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in 50 tribal villages, All We Can’s experienced local partner READ will support women to gain more control over their lives as they learn how to access loans, start enterprises and use their legal right to speak up for themselves/their communities. Through training, women will gain agricultural and small business skills, being supported to make their land more productive, while developing year-round sources of income to feed their families better.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve food security through increased agricultural production in 50 very poor villages.


    » Levelling 350 acres of currently uncultivable land provided under the Forest Regulation Act (1 acre/family), hiring diggers in consultation with SHGs.
    » Provision of irrigation facilities to 1600 acres of land, including renovating existing ponds and the installation of bore wells and check dams.
    » Supporting the poorest families with agricultural training and seeds for diverse crops and organising farming exchange visits/seed bank construction.

    Improved food security in 50 villages will have contributed to eradicating extreme poverty across the Ramanaguda Block of Rayagada District.

    Aim 2

    Improve livelihoods and increase family incomes in 50 villages through SHGs and farmers’ groups.


    » Provision of young chicks and feed to women, with training in rearing chicks.
    » Provision of goats, sheep and training to women as a revolving scheme.
    » Provision of young fish and the creation of fish ponds.
    » Organisation of quarterly farmers’ group meetings.

    Women’s livelihoods, income and quality of life will be significantly improved across these 50 villages of southern Odisha.

    Aim 3

    750 women are empowered to access government schemes and exercise their rights.


    » Organisation of 50 village meetings with SHGs and other community members to assess village-level needs against available government schemes.
    » Provision of training to women on lobbying, advocacy, the issue of violence against women, access to justice and how to apply for government schemes.
    » Organisation of monthly meetings for those SHGs which have formed into federations and run ‘interface’ meetings at local government (Block) level.
    » Organisation of International Women’s Day activities in March.

    Women will have been empowered to access government schemes and demand their rights, impacting on their whole families and communities.

  • Impact


    5000 people, including 1556 families living below the poverty line, will have improved longer-term food security and livelihoods through better agricultural production and diversified income generation. The position and status of women will also have improved to the benefit of whole communities. Indicators include increased harvests per year, meals eaten per day, number of people above the poverty line, growing mixed crops, numbers with savings and accessing government schemes.


    There is a moderate risk of crop failure from drought, late rain or floods. This will be addressed through the provision of irrigation facilities and promoting crop diversification and appropriate farming techniques. There is a low risk of political interference. This will be mitigated by awareness-raising and strengthening women’s advocacy skills. The risk of the criteria for government schemes changing is mitigated by READ’s experience in interpreting the rules for disadvantaged groups.


    Donors will receive a written report in September 2016 showing the progress of the project, what has been achieved for tribal women and their communities in Odisha and the planned activities for the remainder of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £18,500 Programmes costs All direct programme costs including livestock, seeds agricultural tools and training workshops
      £8,500 Staff costs Salaries of local partner organisation staff working to deliver the project
      £1,500 M&E and capacity building cost Training costs to build organisational capacity, the costs of monitoring projects and of training st
      £1,500 Admin Costs Telephone, utilities, stationery, computer costs
  • Background


    Despite India’s economic growth, 33% of its population continues to live below the poverty line, including those from the vulnerable tribal communities who will be served by this project. Odisha, on the eastern coast, is one of India’s poorest states. It has a high proportion of tribal villages, and is often affected by cyclones and floods. The project is focused on 50, remote inland tribal villages across Ramanaguda Block of southern Odisha’s Rayagada District whom READ knows well.


    The project will directly benefit 5000 people, including 1556 families living below the poverty line, across 50 tribal villages in Odisha. Tribal people have long experienced discrimination, and their marginalisation continues despite the granting of rights and various targeted government schemes. The project will focus on women, who are particularly disadvantaged, but also because experience shows that they will pass on the benefits of the support they receive to their families and communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    All We Can has been working with small, grassroots organisations to tackle poverty and hunger in some of the world’s poorest communities for over 40 years. The project will be implemented by our local partner in India, READ, with which we have worked closely for eight years. READ’s staff know their local communities well, as well as the specific problems that women and tribal people face. This project will build on their track record of delivering similar projects.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Manjulata Sahu

    Manjulata is READ’s Executive Secretary, who, along with a Project Coordinator, will lead the project. Manjulata founded and has led READ since 1991.

    Community Workers

    READ’s 8 Community Workers are recruited from the villages where they work, so they are uniquely placed to understand the needs of their communities.

    Self-Help Group (SHG) Leaders

    Each SHG has a leader, such as Ajani Patika, President of the Jai Jagannath SHG, who you can read about at

    Erica Bertolotto

    As All We Can's Partnership Manager, Erica oversees relationships with partners in India, monitoring their impact and supporting their development.

Members of Maa Santoshi Self-Help Group

Members of Maa Santoshi Self-Help Group


could provide young fish for 6 women's groups.

Our families struggled to manage to meet basic needs like food, medicine, children’s education and house repair work.

Bernadita Sabara