Economic Development Programme
More than 200 SHGs have been formed so far with 3000+ members engaged in income-generating activities such as cane, bamboo & nettle weaving, wood crafts, food processing, vegetable production, cultivating cash crops, beekeeping, dairy farming, traditional paper making, sheep wool weaving, and traditional pottery. The self-help groups are formed to encourage cohesiveness among the community members for common income generation and to improve collective marketing of produce and products.
Tarayana has been working with such small and cottage industries since its establishment in 2003 and has successfully facilitated the inception of a variety of enterprises including cotton groups, nettle groups, mushroom groups, cane and bamboo groups, vegetable groups, hollow blocks groups, hydroponic farming group, daphne paper group, pottery groups, etc. Apart from capacity building in group management and financial literacy, Tarayana has also facilitated the procurement, supply and installation of appropriate machines and tools at world sheds and community facility centres for efficiency and enhanced productivity. Promotion and marketing of products have been facilitated on social media and in person through participation in fairs, festivals, and events.
Access to credit; in the initial years. Tarayana would provide access to microcredit for rural farmers and artisans through its projects and programmes. The credit would be utilised to purchase agricultural inputs, farm animals, set up small shops in the community, etc. However, the need for this service soon outgrew the Foundation’s capacity and as a result, the micro-finance arm, Tarayana Microfinance for Rural Development Pvt. Ltd. (TMF) was established to fill in the gap. This microfinance unit operates on a “business in a box” model whereby the clients are not only provided with loans but also support services such as procurement of tools and machines, linking them with existing government services, and promotion and facilitating marketing of their products.
Skilling Activities; Tarayana has in-house capacity in a variety of areas such as construction, natural farming, hydroponic farming, tailoring, springshed management, community water management, natural resource management, enterprise development, self-help group management, financial literacy, etc. These have been imparted to the target villages based on the need and relevance. Where required, Tarayana brings in external expertise to build the capacity of its staff and also to serve the rural communities.
Economic empowerment is a key focus, evident in the formation of 106 enterprise groups and over 200 self-help groups (SHGs). These groups engage in various income-generating activities, from weaving to agriculture, contributing to the economic growth of communities.