India’s trillion-dollar economy has accelerated the pace of poverty decline and reduced absolute poverty significantly. Yet, pervasive constraints experienced by ultra-poor households across the board, many of them the most marginalized Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) groups or those disadvantaged by their circumstances (e.g., widows) - in accessing livelihoods, public services, steady income sources, consolidating assets, and more generally partaking in India’s growth - require renewed attention. India has an estimated 100-150 million households living below US$1.90. It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated vulnerabilities experienced by these households or added more numbers to the ranks of the ultra-poor.”
India’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) remains one of the largest community mobilization efforts in the world, organizing more than 70 million poor women into self-help groups – building their savings, promoting sustainable livelihoods, but above all enhancing their empowerment. Special emphasis is given particularly to women from vulnerable communities such as manual scavengers, victims of human trafficking, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
The purpose of this learning event is to hear about innovative work being done by programs focusing on ultra-poor women, helping them address challenges in joining groups, their immediate needs, and going forward assisting them on a path that helps them graduate out of poverty traps. The discussion will focus on operational lessons - how was the program put in place, challenges faced, what worked and what didn’t, so DAY-NRLM can strengthen (and scale) its approach to integrating ultra-poor women into the SHG net going forward.
By bringing in senior leadership from within the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and the World Bank, and participation of all state rural livelihood missions, it is hoped that this learning session will mark a new chapter in DAY-NRLM’s ambitious journey, by thinking through the operational strategies that the Mission needs to adopt to focus on its most vulnerable women.
About the Learning Event
The learning event will feature a technical session on BRAC’s Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction/Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR/TUP) program and lessons learnt from its implementation experience across eleven countries in South Asia and Africa. In addition, examples will be showcased from the BOMA Project’s experience in building resilience and ending extreme poverty in Africa’s drylands, and NRLM’s own state rural livelihood mission in Bihar (Jeevika).