Chronic poverty is a common sight in the villages where SIVA Trust has been working. To elevate the socio-economic status of the community, SIVA Trust has been doing lot of livelihood interventions.
Women’s SHGs and Microfinance Program
One of the key programs that is being implemented by SIVA Trust is promotion of women’s SHGs and executing savings and microfinance program.
Overview of the TdH-NL Revolving Fund Program
In 2008, with the aim to stop child labour and improve the economic stability of the vulnerable families in India, SIVA Trust with funding from TdH-NL has initiated the ‘Revolving Fund’ programme in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Around Rs. 20 lakhs was provided a revolving fund by TdH-NL to SIVA Trust for financing women, minorities and weaker sections of the society in rural villages and urban slums in Tirunelveli. Loans at affordable interest rates were provided to target beneficiaries. Thanks to the revolving fund programme, a total amount of approximately INR 5 crores has been disbursed as loan so far to the members for various purposes including livelihoods promotion that are eventually addressing child labour and other forms of exploitation.
In December 2017, TdH-NL India Program office commissioned a study to conduct “Monitoring of TdH-NL’s Revolving Fund Program” implemented by SIVA Trust in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The Gateway Consultancy, an international development consultancy firm, conducted the study with the following specific objectives:
- Document the progress of TdH-NL’s Revolving Fund program
- Assess outcomes & impact of the fund among lives of the beneficiaries
- Document learnings and impact from case studies of selected beneficiaries
Download and read the full report here – SIVA Trust RF Monitoring Report.
Exposure Visit to SHGs
In order to encourage the SHG members to start new income generation programs and to strengthen the existing ones, we take them to various NGO partners for exposure visits.
The team led by the Project Director, Mr. S.S. Shiva, consisted of Mr. T. Selwyn (Finance Trustee), Mr. N. Ravi (Manager-cum-Counsellor), the 4 Community Organisers, the Tailoring Teacher and the following 5 SHG leaders and representatives from our working area.
- The participants were briefed them on the financial assistance given under RF scheme to various self employed persons, mainly in the textile industry, which is prominent in that area.
- They were advised to choose a trade best suitable for their area, based on the availability of raw materials, market for sale and the one which is not done by others.
Then, the team was taken around Pallipalayam and nearby areas and shown the various stages of textile industry from preparing the yarn and selling the finished garment. They were also shown the models in artificial jewel making, poultry rearing and explained the processes involved in them.
The team members decided to apply the knowledge gained in their working area and start some new income generation ventures in the near future.
As a way forward, we suggested the participants to:
- Share their experiences with other members in their respective villages
- Set up a new garments production and sales unit as part of the tailoring unit activities at Vannikonenthal with the help of the trainees who had completed tailoring training
- Learn skills on chamki work and embroidering as well as artificial jewel making by getting training from the persons already involved in that work
- Strengthen their existing business plans and marketing strategies
- Start fancy shop in the villages with the help of SHG Expand the existing cut piece and garment sales shops
- Set up a small broiler contract farming unit in the Meenthulli village
Livelihoods Promotions and Income Generating Activities
SIVA Trust organizes various income generating programs for the SHG members and our field staff. Our project coordinator, with the support of the Trustees organises such trainings.
Training for SHG Members
Trainers gave practical demonstration on the preparation of consumer articles like garlic/ tomato/ chilly pickles, rose/ nannari/ pudhina juice, phenol, liquid blue and soap powder. He explained these things could be prepared with little investments and could be sold locally without much effort. The participants showed lot of interest in learning the preparation and they were made to make those things by themselves.
SIVA Trust provides them with financial assistance when they start the income generating venture through our microfinance program.
Life Skills Education
Besides income generating activities, SIVA Trust also provide life skills education for the youths. The life enrichment education that was imparted by the Counsellor to the youth consists of the opportunities available for employment, scope of vocational training, care of physical and mental health, evils of alcoholism, self development, learning for life work, adjustment with job providers and the future opportunities.
Upskilling Youths for Employment
Skill training on four wheeler driving and mechanism, Electrical repair and appliances and tailoring are also provided to the unemployed youths. Development programs leave a significant impact on the poor and disadvantaged male and female youth in the age group of 16-30 in terms of providing with formal and non-formal employment training skills and life enrichment education for their sustainable development. It adopts a holistic approach for offering youth centered services and preventive support services to the families of the youth.
As part of its activities, SIVA Trust has been organizing such job oriented non formal employment training and life enrichment education for the disadvantaged male and female youth. The Trust shared to the community youth about its vocational skill training programs imparting four wheeler driving, motor mechanism and simple electrical appliances techniques and invited applications from the target villages.
The youth in the age group 16-30 were identified during the youth club meetings and the village visit by the educational motivators and community organisers and their requirements were analysed. 20 applications were collected from the interested youth from 14 villages and individual discussions held by the Managercum-Counselor along with the applicants and parents, before making the final selection for the trainings.
This time the youth who applied for driving mostly preferred to get heavy vehicle badge and light vehicle licenses, because these types of licenses will be supportive to get better employment opportunity in the rural area and also will give a social status to them. During discussions, the rules and regulations of the training programs framed by the Trust, the process of the training, total course fees, contribution by the trainees, duration of the training, scope of the training, places of the training and training discipline were shared with them.
The training was provided to them with the assistance of specialized institutions and professionally trained personnel with special training modules designed by the training institutions. The formal employment training comprises of class instructions, practical sessions, field placement training and job placement.
Youth who went for driving Light, Heavy and badge and allied mechanism were provided training by Ragul Driving Institute, Sankarankoil and the short term electrical training (50 days) was provided by the Valanar Institute, Kuruvikulam which is recognized by the state government and the tailoring training to women was provided by SIVA Trust VT centre.
Over the past three months, 16 male and 23 female youth from poor families completed these vocational skill training in four wheeler driving and mechanism (light-6, heavy-3, badge-2), electrical (5) and tailoring (23) are completed and some became self employed and some others joined jobs in local market and earning ranging from Rs.75 to Rs.300 per day depending on the work.
The youth who completed the electrical training are yet to appear for examination, which would be organized by the ITI probably by August 2013. The youth, who passes the examination will get certificate from NCVT through the ITI.