Poverty to Prosperity Project in its 2nd Phase successfully turned 700 rural women into poultry farming entrepreneurs, in Mahad, Raigad District of Maharashtra

After successfully empowering 1000 young tribal women as entrepreneurs in Jhabua, Dhar and Alirajpur Districts in Madhya Pradesh during the 1st phase of the “Poverty to Prosperity” project, supported by the Citi Foundation, ChildFund India again in association with Citi Foundation replicated the project in Mahad, Raigad District, Maharashtra as Phase 2 of the project, which strives to replicate the learnings from the Phase I of the project by benefitting 700 below poverty line rural women aged 18-35 years in Mahad.

Recurrent floods and drought in Mahad coupled with low literacy levels of the community members and lack of sustainable livelihood options forces the community members to migrate out of the region in search of alternate livelihoods, where they mostly end up working as low paid laborers. ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ equipped these women with skills required for creating an alternate source of livelihood in poultry farming and further supported them in setting up the business as well as expanding the same in their own village, preventing migration, hence, protecting them from exploitation.

The project is spread across 44 gram panchayats of Mahad Block at Raigad District, Maharashtra. Before starting the poultry units, the 700 women members were trained on basic poultry management and formed into 47 women poultry farming groups at the village level.

As a result of the project, more than 90% of the women members have opened individual savings bank accounts. A poultry producers’ company has been formed and named as ‘Mahad Mahila Poultry Farming Producers Company’. 40 private traders have been identified and connected with the women leaders for the marketing of the first lot of chickens. Out of the 700 women entrepreneurs, more than 100 members have sold around 50 grown up chickens in the local market since last week of May 2019. Each of the women members have earned around Rs 9000/- to Rs 10,000/- through selling some chickens from the first cycle. The women groups with the support from the Producers Company have planned to start outlets for directly selling the chickens and accessing other services for expanding their business.

Today, ChildFund India and Citi Foundation celebrated their project’s success as it has successfully trained 700 women as entrepreneurs, created 700 new enterprises.

The event was attended by distinguished dignitaries –Shri Bharat Shet Gogawale, Hon’ble MLA, Mahad, as the Chief Guest and Dr.Subhash Mhaske, District Deputy Commissioner Animal Husbandry, Raigad, Dr. Chandrakant. G. Apsinge, Re. Assistant Commissioner of Animal Husbandry, Pune and Dr. Archana R. Joshi, Livestock Development Officer Poultry project, Raigad, as the Guests of Honor. Debasis Ghosh, Public Affairs Officer, Citi India and Neelam Makhijani, Country Director & CEO, ChildFund India were also there along with nearly 700 of the project beneficiaries. The highlight of the event was the personal account by some of the beneficiaries who shared their experiences, aspirations as well as future plans for managing and expanding their business.

Neelam Makhijani, CEO and Country Director, ChildFund India said, “We believe, enhancing women’s voice and leadership can lead to empowering of women which in turn will create an inclusive and progressive society. Through this intervention, we have equipped young women with the skills and resources they need to lead a dignified life, enabled them to take control of their lives and to command their future. We are proud to share that the Farmers’ Producers Company which has been formed under the Project’s 1st phase in MP, today has a share capital of more than Rs.2, 35,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs thirty-five thousand) in the bank, contributed by the primary members. The Producers Company in Mahad will also reach greater heights. We are committed to continue providing support for the women to grow further and sustain their business. We are thankful to Citi Foundation for their support in creating this huge change!”

Debasis Ghosh, Public Affairs Officer, Citi India Cluster said, “The P2P program is aligned with the Government’s ‘Skill India’ mission and Citi Foundation’s focus areas of youth employability and financial inclusion. Citi India, through Citi Foundation has contributed towards this end by supporting youth from low-income households to build financial assets, enabling entrepreneurs to create livelihoods and enhancing the power of the collective to strengthen and transform communities. This initiative connects rural women with economic opportunities through a market based intervention model that is both scalable and sustainable. This program has seen incredible success and has given women the tools to start and maintain a poultry farming business that is reliable, profitable and that fulfills a large market demand. Through this initiative, Citi is not only contributing towards these women’s economic empowerment but is also giving them a sense of independence and agency over their own futures.”

Background | ChildFund India:
ChildFund India is a part of ChildFund International – a child protection and development organization working in 25 countries and annually assisting around 18 million children, youth and their families globally. ChildFund India has been working in India since 1951 with child and youth centered program expertise and unique interventions that cater to the changing needs of children and youth. ChildFund India’s vision is to build “an India where children lead a dignified life and achieve their full potential”. ChildFund India annually reaches nearly 3 million children, youth, and their families from the most remote, extremely backward and hard-to-reach areasacross 15 States through its long-term programs by investing nearly 60-70 Crores a year. ChildFund’s unique programs provide comprehensive support to children from their conception until they reach 24 years of age by integrating health, nutrition, sanitation, gender equality, disability, education, skill training, livelihoods, child protection and humanitarian relief work.ChildFund places special focus on enhancing skills and training on agriculture and allied services to help women and youth become confident, responsible and self-reliant. It facilitates safe and sustainable livelihood opportunities for women and youth so that they are gainfully employed/self-employed.

ChildFund’s unparalleled longstanding community presence and long-term partnership with grassroots NGOs enables effective implementation of its programs. The award-winning organization has been successful in establishing relations with relevant stakeholders including the communities it works with, district, state and national government bodies, academic institutions, media, funding agencies and corporates to achieve their mutual goals.

For more information, visit www.childfundindia.org|
Facebook : www.facebook.com/ChildFund.India
Twitter : www.twitter.com/ChildFundIndia
Instagram :https://www.instagram.com/childfundindia/
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/childfund-india-56843a33/

Poverty to Prosperity- by ChildFund India, under Citi Foundation’s 2016 India Innovation Grant Program

Citi Foundation’s grant to ChildFund India has been provided through the 2016 India Innovation Grant Program (IIGP), and is part of Pathways to Progress, Citi Foundation’s global initiative to prepare young disadvantaged youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.ChildFund India is one of the six partners to be selected for the 2016 India Innovation Grant Program. Launched in February, the 2016 IIGP received over 150 expressions of interest from locally based NGOs in India.

About Citi Foundation:
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com