As around 40% of the people are living below poverty line in the area where EP works, it has analysed the economic situation of the area and found that over 90% people are engaged in agriculture. Agricultural productivity is low as farmers still follow traditional methods of farming. Farmers have low surplus income and as a result they are unable to invest in farming improvement and take risk to go for high income crops. Dairy farming is an equally important economic activity in the area. The area is primarily a 'buffalo' belt and animal holding is good. But in the absence of organised players to capture the surplus, farmers are in the grasp of middle man. Non farm sector activities are not popular in the area. Youth lack in education and employable skills and as a result cannot get jobs. Entrepreneurship is low in absence of education, capacity to invest and credit availability. In view of this EP has initiated following activities:
Ajeevika Craft Center (ACC): The women livelihood project was conceived and pilot tested in 2009. As a result of successful pilot, first Ajeevika Craft Center was set up in 2010. As on date 10 Ajeevika Craft Center are operational. Till date 245 women have been trained in sewing skills out of which 100 women regularly coming to Ajeevika Craft Center set by EP and making various products. These women were given regular skill upgradation trainings, trainings on new product and design, quality control and reduction in rejections by professionals.
EP is helping these women in developing their own conflict free, efficient value chain. Products are available online at leading portals like Jabong.com under their social responsibility initiative ‘fashion with a cause’. EP helps in marketing of their products through multiple channels. Exhibitions are regularly held at various corporate hosues, shoppoing malls etc.
The range of products made by the craft centre women covers - women’s accessories (bags and pouches) and home decor (cushion covers, runners, bed spreads, quilts). The earnings from this activity go directly to women which are highly valued by them.
Sustainable farming: End Poverty has organised over 500 farmers and helping them in improving their farm productivity. Regular training on various aspects of farming is given to farmers like usage of good quality seeds, sound agronomic practices, crop management, disease and pest control, soil health management, weed management, fruits and vegetable cultivation etc.
Exposure visit to model organic farm, various agritech fairs and exhibitions and KVKs are held regularly so as to inspire the farmers for adoption of scientific farming. Farmers are facilitated in preparation of Kisan Credit Card for easy to credit from the banks.
Plant a Tree for Life : EP has also launched a special project i.e. ‘Plant a Tree for Life’ with a purpose to promote sustainable farming in the area. Currently, majority of farmers grow field crops and use flood irrigation methods to water their crops. As a result of this the ground water which is the main source of irrigation is fast depleting. Hardly any efforts have been made to create awareness about scarce water resources and efficient ways to use ground water. If corrective measures are not taken, it may impact their livelihood adversely.
Keeping this in view, EP has conceived this project as it needs less water and it is more remunerative as compared to field crop. There are many other advantages like it needs less labour, improves environment and family nutrition. EP’s target is to plant 100,000 fruit trees in the area by 2020. We have so far planted 15,100 plants.
Dairy Development Program: : EP has trained over 180 farmers in scientific dairy farming and opened their bank accounts which will help them in getting credit for buying milch animals. 138 trainees cleared the test of the “STAR SCHEME” a government of India initiative to certify dairy farmers. A majority of participants in the program were women. Other training program which EP conducts regularly includes breed improvement, animal nutrition etc. where hundreds of farmers have benefitted and are now adopting scientific dairy farming.
Youth Employment: EP is helping youth in their skill development leading to employment. One to one support group counselling and training on personality development, communication skills development is being provided. These youth are further assisted in placement with local industries. Youth are also provided with entrepreneurial skill development and enterprise development training. Right now there are two programs being implemented for youth employment as per details given below
The Nudge: The/Nudge runs a one-of-its-kind “Gurukul” model, with a 4 month fully-residential “Programme in Life Management” course, with an emphasis on extensive experiential learning through habit-building and repetition. The 4-month program covers Life Foundation (through life skills training), Learning Foundation (through literacy and numeracy) and Economic Foundation (through livelihood skill training). On completion of the program, students are provided with lifelong support to prevent them from falling back into poverty.The Nudge currently has 3 Gurukuls operating in Bangalore supported by Mphasis, Sapient and CISCO. A total of 110 students have graduated out of our Gurukuls so far and are working in companies like Lake Salon, YLG, Naturals, Drive U, Cartizan etc.
PMKVY: EP is a registered Training Partner with the Agricultural Skill Council of India (ASCI) for providing skill development training, certification and placement to youth in agriculture and dairy sector under PMKVY (Prdhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana). The PMKVY scheme aims to provide a certified, standardiized skill training to Indian youth to become employable and earn their livelihood. The skill training increases productivity of the youth and aligns the training and certification to the needs of the country.
Responsible Rural Tourism (RRT): The aim of the RRT project is to further diversify the livelihood options in the area. The EP project area is strategically located on National Highway and is close to Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur. It provides a good opportunity for urban people and foreign visitors who want to know about and experience rural India. EP has completed the feasibility study, the product has been finalised, trial run has been conducted and a soft launch is being planned soon.