Tata Steel Promoting sustainable livelihoods among women

Joda: The journey of Manju Munda from a homemaker to an entrepreneur is inspiring. The 35-yeard old lady from Bichakundi is the sole earner in her family of seven.
Following a training in duck rearing, she started her own unit. Involved with the breeding of Khaki Campbell variety, she has single-handedly setup the duck house apart from taking care of the entire process of vaccination, feeding and marketing of the produce.
The training was provided to her by Tata Steel Foundation. Like her, through focused interventions in agriculture and enterprise development, Tata Steel Foundation endeavors to create sustainable livelihood opportunities to improve the economic conditions of the communities around its areas of operation.
Under various initiatives, a number of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and women are being supported for undertaking different income generation activities such as mushroom cultivation, duck rearing and poultry farming.
Tata Steel Foundation has provided training and technical guidance apart from taking them for exposure visits to facilitate the same. Raw materials such as mushroom spawns, paddy straw, food for baby ducks etc, are also being provided.
Bimla Mahakud residing in Hudi Sahi area has been involved in mushroom cultivation since the last three years. “We had to depend on our husbands and parents to meet our personal expenses. But now we have become financially independent which is a great feeling,” says Mahakud.
The duck units promoted are catering to the demands of the local areas apart from meeting the demand for poultry in Joda municipality. This apart, poultry farming is also promoted among interested SHG members.
More than 500 women have been oriented on various livelihood related activities through demonstration trainings and exposure visits. The Foundation is also working towards establishing SHGs and among them have been able to find a large number of buyers for products made by them. For promotion of bank linkage program, various session with SHGs is also organised.