Nirdhan, registered as a Section 25 Company, was incorporated in 2011. It has a board of seven directors all with excellent and varied backgrounds: entrepreneurial, legal, IT and commercial (see section on Board of Directors). Nirdhan contracts three part-time consultants and employs a full-time team comprising its General Manager, Jogeshwar Rao who drives the operations locally, builds up the team and monitors the progress of the operations daily. He plans future operations, researches new enterprises and reports to the board members on a regular basis to ensure money is being used effectively. Nirdhan has 7 Board of Directors, 2 Finance officers, 1 Head of Livelihood Programmes, 1 General Manager, 1 fundraising executive and also employs 5 field supervisors, 1 Prani bandhu or local vet, 1 goateries consultant and 41 Livelihood Service Providers (LSPs). The LSPs market the programme, assess and register potential home-farmers, complete our Social Impact Assessments and reassessments through a scoring system of the PPI index so that we can measure our outcomes, provide the training, deliver the toolkits (10 one-day-old chicks/ducks, initial feed, vaccinations and medications) and collect payments. All the LSPs come from the villages where we are working and so understand the needs of the home-farmers and are passionate about creating positive social change and relieving their own people from suffering.
Nirdhan was founded in 2011 and its mission is to create livelihoods, boost income and inspire permanent change. Our target group has always been the very poor in Bengal which is India’s fourth most populous state. It is in fact one of the poorest states in India and living standards for the majority are declining.
- to help people living on or below the poverty line in rural West Bengal earn an income from home
- to provide people in need with the tools and training to start a market-driven enterprise
- to innovate and develop our programmes to ensure the best outcomes and impact for our beneficiaries
- excellent governance and transparency in all that we do
- responsiveness to the changing needs of our beneficiaries
- sustainability for Nirdhan and our beneficiaries
- regular impact measurement and reporting to donors
WHY WEST BENGAL
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.