COVID-19 times have been quite challenging for all of us, with the impact being disproportionately higher on marginalized sections. The socio-economic distress caused by the loss of livelihoods among people living in precarious circumstances has been tremendous. Responding to the crisis, our teams across the country initiated efforts to enable them to promote livelihood.
With Nav Bihar Samaj Kalyan Pratisthan Kendra (NBSKPK), a grassroots-based civil society organization and Mahila Adhikar Morcha (MAM), a community-based women’s forum, we have been promoting women and children’s rights across villages in Giriyak and Silao blocks of Bihar’s Nalanda district. One of the most outstanding achievements of the intervention has been the 36 women farmers’ collectives that we have facilitated and nurtured.
During the height of the COVID-19-induced economic crisis last year, we had distributed vegetable seeds and agricultural equipment to 25 women farmers’ collectives, comprising nearly 400 women farmers and agricultural labourers. This support helped these groups to resume farming activities, which had come to a standstill because of lack of resources amid the pandemic-induced lockdown. On selling the agricultural produce, each member of these collectives was able to earn nearly Rs. 7,200! “We are grateful to ActionAid Association and NBSKPK for helping us during these tough times. They provided us with various vegetable seeds and agricultural tools, which enabled us to continue practising our collective and sustainable farming. It has not just helped promote food security and rebuild our livelihoods but has also empowered us as women farmers and has made us feel more confident,” says a happy woman farmer from Nalanda.
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