Investment in Livelihood
According to the last published Census of India data, there are as many as 48.2 crore workers in India. Of these, only 3.3 crores are in the formal sector; the remaining 93 per cent includes 11.9 crore farmers, 14.4 crore landless agricultural workers, and 21.9 crore non-agricultural workers. Most of them survive month to month with their cash flows which are dependent on them working. Most of them suffered Job loss due to the Pandemic besides the fear of falling sick as food and health crisis could mean a rise in deaths.
We foresee a long journey toward the crisis recovery and policy of the Government for Social Security as well support for these workers. We realize the need for alternative economic and livelihood initiatives, which is an attempt to secure domestic workers’ income and help them be more resilient in times of crisis.
Literacy India never stopped its various Skill Training, Livelihood, Enterprise Development Project at the community level to generate employment opportunities for the underprivileged people.
Home chef/ cooking vocation being one of them, soon became very popular amongst the women. Women were helped set up a small kitchen at home and adopted a menu to accommodate local food choices. This enabled them to get quick orders and kick start the venture. They all engaged in the Financial Literacy Program conducted with the help of Employees who volunteered time from Master Card. Women were also helped to learn Social Media to market their work with the help of SVP, Kolkata Chapter.
Chumki and Suparna, amongst the group of beneficiaries who showed a lot of energy to set up a home catering business called “Bhojan Bilas”.
Suparna ,26, has an innovative and creative mindset. She joined the Literacy India (Home Chef) program intending to become an entrepreneur. Centres of Literacy India creates all kinds of energy and vibe with the help of our well-wishers and volunteers. Suparna had previously learnt Tailoring in the centre; Pandemic could not kick start her stitching business, she decided to learn more. Suparna found a partner at the centre while learning to cook with Chumki. Chumki had recently completed her schooling at the nearby govt school. Both the Ladies prepared a short menu with a price list and advertised it on social media. Advertisement attracted viewers, and they started receiving orders.They had started with a small menu of Veg and Non-Veg Thali for Lunch and dinner.
Duo soon met with RED VOLUNTEERS GROUP, who worked for covid survivors and started delivering food for covid patients at minimum cost.
Literacy India conducted the following sessions to Orient oneself to be a part of SHG groups, Grooming, Entrepreneurship development, Financial Literacy, Digital Literacy and soft skill sessions which empowered many like-minded women. Presently, Suprana and Chumki are successfully running their Home Chef business and had been able to recover 70% of their total investment.
Love of learning
Aditya started his journey with Literacy India from class 6th, and he is now a student of class 10th. His brother also studies in Class 8 in the same school of Literacy India. His father is a painter, and because of the lockdown, he is unable to get steady work, which affected the overall survival of the family.
Aditya is an energetic child. He is very talkative and naughty. Our teachers had the challenge to channelize his extra energy into a positive direction. After counselling many times, he started taking an interest in his studies.He loved his teachers and worked really hard. He performed exceptionally well, scoring 67% marks in his final examination.
During 2nd phase of lockdown, his parents left for their hometown, and Aditya did not go along with them because he never wanted to miss his online classes. His zeal for academics got better of him, and he made sure the same for his kid brother.
Literacy India helped him with his monthly food – ration. While he did his daily home chores like cooking, cleaning and washing. Now here we have a child who enjoys his time with books despite the tough times all around.
A stitch in time saves nine
Monsoon has reached the northern part of India, and we are supposed to get a lot of rain; however, somehow water from the cloud seems to have halted. Farmers in several states will have to wait longer for Kharif sowing.
Despite humidity and heat, our beneficiary farmers are busy sowing their fields while waiting for the rains.700+ Papaya Seeds has been purchased from KVK for the farmers.
Our Farmer – Group has decided on Papaya farming, so the seeds germination process started. The germination process will take 30 days & the plant will grow in an excellent, moist environment.
Last year, we also did a similar experiment at a small scale, and the yield was the motivating factor. So this year as well, we plan to do the same on a bigger scale and hoping for success.