The Swavalamban Program passionately believes in ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’, to combat and overcome the challenges of COVID-19 in our economy and take rural India on a path of skilled and sustainable growth. The program is a systematic progression to empower youth, farmers and the women from underprivileged sections of the country with employable skills and inculcate entrepreneurship and boost the rural economy.
The unemployment rate in India rose to 24% in May 2020. The most devastating impact of the virus and the lockdown had been on the economically backward classes, with limited access to proper healthcare and no money to sustain their livelihood. A large chunk of migrant workers returned to their domicile with little to no money. Even before the pandemic, India’s unemployment rate has been an all-time high.
Our Approach and Activities
The program is a conscious and passionate effort to empower youth, women, and farmers with marketable skills to help India seize the opportunity for inclusive growth. Our goal is to- Take Prosperity Back to Villages (Gramoday se Rashtroday).
How the Swavalamban Model Works?
Our model works by providing training to rural women and men through various Government training modules and then connecting their products with the market and sharing profits with the producers.
The model facilitates rural workforce, especially women, in food processing of items like pickles, making paper bags, and providing them with marketplaces to sell their homegrown organic produce to local and even global markets, by becoming their organic and virtual market aggregator. The Regional Food Research Institute facilitated the training for women.
Training is also conducted for farmers on advanced farming techniques like vermicomposting, which yield better produce, thus doubling their agricultural income. Under this model, all possible raw materials are purchased directly from villagers or farmers to boost the rural economy.
In our journey, we are very blessed to have the patronage of the Food Analytics and Research Centre, Department of Food Processing, Uttar Pradesh Government. Their support in our programme has been of excellent morale boost, and their technical support has made this initiative a success.
Through the Swavalamban initiative, we have trained 20 women and men, out of which currently 11 women and 5 farmers are being employed under Gramoday, and we are working on adding 30 more farmers when we scale our operations. As of now, they have organically produced:
- 14 types of Pickle
- Turmeric Herbal
- Tea Masala
All these products’ raw materials are also directly procured from farmers. This helps to incentivize them to produce chemical-free (organic) crops and giving remunerative prices.
We aim for our initiative’s turnover to reach 250 families by 2021, where we have empowered members of these families with livelihood skills. We are currently working towards introducing more products by rural women and men in the market.
- Honey Mushroom
- Organic foods, i.e., Wheat and their products
- Using waste of Sugar cane for food plates
Generating Employment by creating micro Food processors
A three-day awareness camp was organized at Nyaya Panchayat Padri Kalan under the aegis of Shaan Foundation and Mahatma Gandhi Food Processing Village Swarojgar Yojana. The objectives of the camp were to:
- promote the processing industries at the regional level
- sell the crops to the farmers
- emphasize the move towards self-reliant India by empowering the youth with employment opportunities at the rural level.
The program was organized by Manoj ji and Yashkaran ji of Government Fruit Conservation and Training Center, Unnao in the presence of village head Suresh Kumar and senior social worker Channu Lal Trivedi. Both farmers and industry can be enriched by linking the processing of perishable crops like tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.