MUKTI is a socio-economic development organization that has been working for people in the Sunderban Delta region of South 24 Parganas, WB, India since 2003. Mukti operates with a 360 degrees vision of alleviating poverty by implementing its HEALER initiative programs ie. Health, Education, Agriculture, Livelihood, Environment and Rights. Currently Mukti service covers 23000 households under 10 Gram Panchayats (Local Governments) of the Sunderbans. Mukti is working with almost 40 communities that are in catastrophes of climatic hazards resulting in penury, vulnerability and violence. In the Livelihood category alone, Mukti assists over 5,000 rural needy women in earning a living by giving them interest free loans, and imparting much needed skills development training. Such has been its success over the past 14 years, that now there are demands on Mukti to expand its existing coverage into several other regions in India.
Mukti cannot do this work alone, and we look forward to your co-operation and assistance in meeting our objectives. We welcome each and every individual or entity, who is willing to work whole-heartedly for the poor and distressed across the globe. There are many people who really need your help to deliver them from a life of abject poverty and spread happiness in their simple lives. This is the platform where you can extend your hand to them. To help Mukti please participate in the relevant campaigns of this Marathon and help to create a world without poverty.
MUKTI COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND (MCDF)
Category: Women Empowerment, Livelihood
Average people of Sundarbans delta are extremely poor. Their livelihood is mostly dependent on single-crop agriculture, cutting wood from jangle, catching fish etc. Women of this delta region are even more vulnerable due to economic condition and lack of proper education. That is the reason Sundarbans is the biggest source in West Bengal for women trafficking. The women of Sundarbans need to travel a long way from their home to town for their daily work and the means of transport are neither safe nor comfortable for women. The dignity of women is compromised and they often face sexual abuse at their work place. Average education on Delta is 45% where women education rate is below 30%. Women power of Sundarbans Delta is under-utilized due to lack of lack of proper social structure and lack of enough opportunity.
To address this challenge in Sundarbans, MUKTI has designed a unique Self Help Group (SHG) and Micro Credit model for women. As part of this model, MUKTI provides 3 skill development training, interest free loan, and a self-governed mechanism for running the groups. The success of this model can be observed by the rapid progress of this project in last few years. Around 5000+ women joined in last 3 years in the programme where 1200+ women doing business successfully after getting training from MUKTI and receiving interest free loan. The loan repayment is almost 100% as our model is designed in such a way that each SHG group ensures the repayment of their loan. Administrative cost is also very less here, as women find their leader by selection/election method and manage the whole programme on their own. MUKTI is running 6 clusters of SHGs and wish to grow up to 10 by 2017.
MUKTI has now successfully created an avenue for the women force of Sundarbans. Many women leaders are now moving one step forward and leading some society development activities as well. Women from these SHG groups are now earning Rs 3000 -10000 per month. A large group of women are selling their products in various exhibitions and in towns. More than 50 women have established themselves as trainer of various businesses. Women trafficking have come down and self-respect has been restored for women who are engaged with this programme. Migration to town has been reduced significantly.
Plantation and Sustainable Agriculture
Category: Environment, Agriculture, Organic Farming
The existence of Sundarbans is under tremendous threat due to massive deforestation on a regular basis by human being for their livelihood. The deforested land is completely barren and not suitable for traditional cultivation. Frequent Cyclones are often impacting forest, wild life and human inhabitant. The land for agriculture is mostly single-crop and dependent on rain water at monsoon time only, which is one of the reasons of people’s poor financial condition in the Deltas. Due to deforestation, Soil erosion, Cyclone, High tide, life of human and animals are facing huge challenge at the moment.
MUKTI has started working on this problem and has targeted to find a solution by utilizing the barren land created by deforestation. Large scale coconut and other local varieties of plants are being planted to increase forest, mitigate fuel needs of local people and increase income of inhabitant so that human dependencies on forest can be reduced. Many places of Sundarbans also do not have any electricity; we promote alternate energy like solar power. MUKTI engages school children and local people to increase awareness on global warming, and danger of deforestation. We engage Women mostly for plantation activities.
MUKTI Self Help Group women are engaged in plantation like coconut and mangrove, which is generating income for local people. Impact of this project is multifold like women empowerment, reforestation in deforested land of Sundarbans, as Coconut is called the tree of life and being economic crop. As a result of this, the income of local people is increasing, proper utilization of barren land are being utilized to improve the environment and livelihood. Most of the plantation is happening at river side which is protecting soil from erosion. This civil forest is protecting cyclone and is being used for disaster recovery.