Gramya Vikash Mancha (GVM)
Assam, 22 January 2020
Established in 1999, GVM started their work with the excluded sections of society in the rural areas of Assam. Nalbari, an area that was heavily militarised and affected by floods, saw an increasing number of child marriages, children suffering from anemia, and substance abuse among adolescents. These issues pushed the community in this area towards deprivation and alienation. This was when GVM started the Adolescent Empowerment Program with support from us at NFI.
While working on the issues faced by the excluded sections of the society, GVM realised the need to strengthen livelihoods. In the year 2015-16, a long-term partnership with NFI helped in building the livelihood program initiated by the organization. This project allowed the GVM staff to improvise and rethink the processes of livelihood planning and implementation through the project ‘Improving Smallholder’s Livelihood’ with agriculture and allied interventions.” The project covered 2300 marginalized households over the period of four years in Nalbari and Baksa district of Assam.
The livelihood project is an integrated and holistic program that encompasses all the aspects of livelihood enhancement and engages with households, communities, leaders, the government and knowledge institutions. The project has made interventions through need based livelihood support, and introduced improved practices to enhance production of crops, farm mechanisation, and micro activities such as weaving, mushroom cultivation, and catfish rearing for the landless, to enhance the income of households and create an ecosystem of sustainable livelihood opportunities.
A program of this nature has helped understand nuances of planning and implementing multiple activities under one umbrella program. The increased income of the marginal farmers and capacity building among the rural farmers specially women, has led to behavioral change towards agriculture and the allied sector, and has helped build their confidence.