Though FDI addresses a broad spectrum of development issues, its focus is on development of rural livelihood & employment opportunties; development of support systems for the sustainability of rural businesses such as establishment of market linkages & cooperatives & SHG development; promotion of environment friendly technologies such as organic farming & solar-powered irrigation; adoption of ICT as a knowledge management tool for rural development.
Our areas of support and Programs include:
Cooperatives Development & Self Help Groups:
A number of cooperatives and Self Help Groups have been formed for the sustainable development of specific communities.
To overcome exploitation and create confidence for the economic self-reliance of rural poor, particularly for women, Self-Help Groups were formed in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, through South Sundarban Janakalyan Sangha (SSJS). A total of 1800 women became members of 80 SHGs, and a total saving of Rs.640,000 was made by the SHGs.
collective marketing by farmers
Following Cooperatives were formed as part of the Agriculture Development Program in Uttaranchal by FDI Partner - UYRDC:
· Cooperatives in Agriculture: Covered 50 villages and formed Producers Cooperative groups from village level to block level for the organised marketing of agriculture produce, such as pulses, amarantham, back wheat etc.
· Fruits cooperative: Covered 20 villages and formed fruit grower cooperatives for the organised marketing of the fruit produce.
· Vegetable grower cooperatives: Organised 250 farmers in district Chamoli and Bageshwar for vegetable cultivation and provided different technology for increasing the production of vegetables specially off-season and for the organised marketing of the vegetable produce. Formed a vegetable producers cooperative groups in Pinder valley of Chamoli and Bageshware district.
· Herbal cooperative groups: Mobilised 32 farmers from 4 villages of kail Ganga watershed for producing of valuable medicinal plants. Specially kutki and kut and formed a herbal cooperative groups for production and marketing of herbal produce.
· Dairy Cooperatives: Coordinated and implemented a USAID supported BDS (Business Development services) project in Pinder valley. Dairy being the main thrust area of the project in which formed 200 self help cooperative groups in the valley and also facilitated to form a federation of different small cooperative groups. Also facilitated these cooperative groups to establish their backward and forward linkages for collection and marketing of milk. For this the cooperatives also were organised under micro credit groups towards bank linkages and inter - loaning amongst group members.
FDI is currently in the process of developing a multi-dimensional program which will promote organic farming and agro-processing as viable alternative sources of income generation among the rural communities, along with the setting up of rural business hubs which will not only create new employment opportunities for the locals, but also inculcate the spirit of rural entrepreneurship. The project is proposed to be implemented in the eastern and north-eastern states of India.
Health Care and Family Welfare Programme
As part of the programme, organised free eye and dental check-up camps, general health check-ups and awareness campaigns on hygiene and nutrition in different slum areas of Delhi. Distributed free medicine, first-aid kits and contraceptives. IEC materials on Family Planning and health care were published and disseminated. These camps were organised in Delhi, and in Keonjhar District in Orissa through our partner Utkal Women Activists' Forum (UWAF) and in Kolkata through our partner Sahara Health & Education Society (SHES).
Camps were also organised to improve general awareness on health issues in under-served marginal population groups.
FDI has also started an innovative initiative to promote natural health care, by setting up mobile vans outside the patna grounds in Bihar. The van is equipped with herbal and natural medicines, and sells fresh fruit, vegetable and herbal juices and literature on herbal cures. The initiative has also resulted in income generation for a number of people.
Water & Sanitation
With the objective of improving hygiene, 50 low cost latrines (toilets) were constructed in Haldia, Midnapore district, West Bengal, through FDI partner Haldia Samaj Kalyan Prasad.
FDI has also organised the collection of more than 300 water samples from 80 villages for testing fluoride and other chemical content. Based on the test findings efforts were made to mobilise the rural communities in raising their awareness about Water and Sanitation. Steps are taken by FDI partners during every monsoon to disseminate information about issues related to water, sanitation and health in their target villages .
School Infrastructure Renovation: The Delhi Tamil Educational Association (DTEA) School, located in New Delhi, is a school where mostly children from mostly low-income families come to study. The School building was in very bad shape, with many of the windows missing, the tiles falling and paint peeling. With winter round the corner, classrooms without windows would have been difficult for the children to bear. It was therefore decided that all windows and doors, which were missing would be replaced and painted. A fund-raising campaign to generate funds from the Alumni of the school was successfully organised by FDI.
Book Bank for Economically Backward School Children: For most children from DTEA School, belonging to economically backward families, purchasing books for studying is beyond their means. To bridge this gap, it was decided that a book bank would be set up in the school for classes 6 to 11. A total of 260 books were purchased, and these books have been issued for the year to around 40 students. These students were selected on the basis of their economic status, their performance in studies and all round performance and behaviour and regularity of attendance. At the end of school year, these books will be returned to the Book Bank and issued to the next batch of students.
School Enrolment Drive for Slum Children: Education will play an important role in bridging the gap between the elite and the underprivileged. In continuation of the previous year's programme, an awareness campaign was organised on the importance of education in the slum areas of Delhi. Parents and community members were approached to enrol the non-school going children in their community into schools. Assistance was also provided in getting admissions for these children in government schools. Teachers and students from schools in the locality were involved in this activity. The following slums were covered: - Slum colony opposite MTNL building in Nehru Place, Delhi. - Slum dwellers in Saidullajab village, Delhi. - Slum colony near Post office Kalkaji, Delhi - Slum dwellers in Alaknanda, Kalkaji.
Promotion of organic farming, as an economically viable, environment friendly, cost-effective technology, to increase productivity and profitability of small farmers in the agriculture sector, is an on-going initiative of FDI and its partners. Some of the alternative agricultural practices followed include use of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers, bio-composting, solar-powered irrigation etc.
Popularising the use and growing of medicinal plants & herbs is another initiative of FDI.
training in compost making
Women & Youth Development Programme: The purpose of this programme was to impart basic literacy, life skills, health awareness and income-generating skills to women & youth from marginalized sections of the society.
- Organised basic literacy classes for women and youth.
- Organised awareness camps on different life-skills available.
- Organised carpentry, tailoring, welding classes and basic account keeping skills.
- Interfaced with local businesses and organisations to provide employment to these women & youth.
- Vocational Training was imparted to the unemployed rural youth in carpentry, motor winding, radio repair, and tailoring in Basudevpur in Haldia, Midnapore district, West Bengal, through FDI partner Haldia Samaj Kalyan Prasad.
- Organised awareness campaign on basic women's rights & safe working conditions for women brick kiln workers in Jharkhand.
women-workers in brick kiln
Awareness campaign on firecrackers: Organised an awareness campaign against Diwali firecrackers for the students of schools: Father Agnel School in Gautam Nagar, Tagore International in Vasant Vihar and D.T.E.A. in Lodi Road in Delhi. Posters and leaflets were distributed in the schools. Volunteers presented a play for the students on the exploitation of children in the firecracker industry. Also organised a drawing competition for students on child labour in the firecracker industry. The responses from the schools and students were good.
The existing system of open chullah (cooking fire range) is quite unhygienic as well as environmentally unsafe. With the financial support from local Panchayat samiti and community contribution 200 smokeless chullahs were constructed for 120 families in Naltala village for saving evergy. A high degree awareness and demand has been generated among the village population on smokeless chullahs. Our implementing partner was Gram Unnayan Mahila Samity from South 24 Parganas.
All FDI programs focus on natural resources management, people-centred development approaches and promote sustainable livelihoods from natural resources for the backward communities.
Capacity Building & Training
Semi-litrate and literate rural men and women are trained each year in groups as field activists for various FDI programs. Training and capacity building initiatives are also taken up for members of Village Panchayats, Education & other Committees and Women’s Self Help Groups. FDI builds NGO capacity in the areas of governance, management, financial management and civic action
- A capacity building workshop was organised in West Bengal and Orissa each, in February 2005 for the newly joined NGO members of the FDI Eastern chapter.
- Conducted a workshop on "Knowledge sharing on available government schemes for people living below poverty line" in April 2004, in Angul District of Orissa.
- Conducted a workshop on "Fund-raising through the Indian Diaspora", in June 2004, in Mannachanallur ,Trichirapalli district, Tamilnadu, South India.
- A Training meeting was organised in May 2004 for farmers of Shyama (Kapkot Block), Bageshwar District through UYRDC, as part of their Uttaranchal Agriculture Development Program in Pinder Valley funded by TIFAC. The issues addressed during the training were quality of seeds used, Vermin compost preparation & Use, Bio-pesticide preparation & Use, Crop related ailments: prevention & cure.
- Organised training cum demonstration workshop on construction of smokeless chullahs (cooking fire range), for the villagers of Kishorenagar Block, Angul, Orissa, through our partner SANSAD in August 2004.
- Under the project "Community development program in the island Sagar Block, South 24 Parganas, WB", funded by IGSSS, implemented through our partner SSJS, training programs were organised to increase capacity on issues of micro-credit, disaster and gender and on increase in income generation through revolving fund support. Also conducted a workshop on Vermiculture for the rural farmers.
The pilot project on setting up Rural Business Hubs will be implemented in three villages from Darbhanga district of North Bihar, namely, Benipur (Population 10000); Nandapatti (Population 1100); Karhari (Population 1200). The Benipur subdivision consists of 33 panchayats, of which Benipur; Nandapatti & Karhari are 3 panchayats. Each of these panchayats consists of 15-20 blocks. Mr.Suresh Prasad Singh, is the panchayat president, who governs these three panchayats. He is also the Secretary of the Panchayat Presidents Association (Mukhiya Sangh), which consists of 30 panchayat presidents.
The members of these panchayats have been actively involved in the consultation and program conceptualisation activities. The members will also be undergoing training &capacity building for managing the Rural Business Hubs, once the project is underway.
Student Volunteerism: Students from schools and colleges in Delhi were mobilised to participate in community service programmes. As part of our programs, students from various colleges in Delhi University, through the National Social Service and Students Union, volunteered their services in the training and dissemination activities.
To know more about FDI programmes and initiatives, read annual reports