The approach to poverty alleviation in West Bengal for many years has been to hand out free chickens for developing poultry farming to farmers. No training or support services was provided to address the mortality issues faced by the farmers. Therefore no single farmer could develop an enterprise with country chickens which are usually durable with little care and required low investment. We are therefore trying to overcome this culture of hand-outs and lack of opportunity by enabling people to work, create livelihoods and earn both income and dignity. We hope that one day the government (both state and national) – which is a very powerful force in India – will see the benefits of our programme and take over the approach and scale it both within West Bengal and other states where poverty is rife. If the government does not, we hope that other organizations working throughout India will adopt and adapt our model and scale it so we reach many more people than we could alone. The need for helping in the villages where we started our operations was first identified by our founder and CEO, Vasant Subramanyan, who strongly believes that the progress of our country lies in the 70% of our population which lives in the villages. Number is strength and the backbone of our country’s growth both socially and economically is absolutely in the hands of the rural population. He is heavily involved in many issues facing the rural poor and has a social commitment to help the poor communities in Bengal.
“Nirdhan has achieved the impossible, what others only talk about in theoretical terms, says Mihir Sahana, Managing Director of BASIX”