New Delhi, December 14, 2011: In a bid to closely examine the opportunities and impediments pertaining to the existent and upcoming programs, of Government of India, for livelihoods of the country’s poor and underprivileged, Livelihoods India Conference 2011 commenced in the capital today. On the opening day of the two-day conference, The State of India’s Livelihoods (SOIL) Report 2011 was released. In its fourth volume, the Report focused on the 4Ps – Poor, Promoters, Policies and Potential with reference to livelihoods of the poor.
Authored by some well-known names such as Sankar Datta, Orlanda Ruthven, Prof. Ashok Sircar, Suryamani Roul and Prof. Madhur Shukla, the SOIL 2011 Report presents an overview of the status of livelihoods during 2010-11 while looking at the key debates and conflicts such as different definitions of poor, impact of rising wages on inflation and the conflicting demand on land. It also presents an outline of the policy environment for livelihoods promotions.
Since in our country, state is the largest livelihood promoter, the Report also analyzes two major flagship livelihoods programs – MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) and NRLM (National Rural Livelihoods Mission) – of the government at different stages of evolution, apart from reviewing the various skill development initiatives in the country. Over the last four years, the Report has become established as a good reference document that is found useful both by policy-makers, as well as, practitioners.
Organized by ACCESS Development Services – a national livelihoods promotion organization with focus on incubating innovations and sustainable models for livelihoods promotion of the poor – the Conference’s theme, this year, was Livelihoods Programs for the Poor: Opportunities and Impediments. It also addressed the minutiae of the yet-to-be rolled out National Rural Livelihoods Program (with an annual outlay of INR 2914 crore).
Present on the occasion were over 50 distinguished speakers and panelists viz. sector experts, academicians, innovators, practitioners, as well as, policy advocacy leaders and policy makers. There were multiple plenary sessions discussing in detail the following topics at the conference: Livelihoods of the Poor – Impediments to Scale and Sustainability; NREGP – Livelihoods Security or Wage Employment; Rolling out NRLM – The Human Resource Challenge and Land and Livelihoods of the Poor.
According to Mr. Vipin Sharma, CEO, ACCESS Development Services, “ACCESS has been bringing out the State of India’s Livelihoods Report since 2008. Our endeavor is to bring together a document which helps in stocktaking of all efforts and initiatives, policies and programs, current trends and emerging potential for greater sustainable livelihood options for the poor.” He further said, “Apart from providing an overview on the status of livelihoods programs taken up so far and the various challenges and opportunities affecting the same, this year, the report also discusses the key livelihood initiatives that are likely to be included in the 12th Five Year Plan.”
SOIL 2011 report also provides an overall direction of resource deployment and policy framework while discussing the newly introduced Aadhar (Unique ID) Project and the proposed Direct Cash Transfer scheme and their implications for the poor, as well as, livelihood professionals.
About ACCESS Development
ACCESS Development Services is a national livelihoods promotion organization with focus on incubating innovations and sustainable models for livelihoods promotion of the poor. Set up in March 2006, ACCESS is structured uniquely to work at all levels of the value chain – implementing programs on the ground, working with Civil Society organizations, Government Departments, Corporate sector, and Multilateral / Bilateral agencies as also undertaking a few national initiatives to influence and support policy initiatives and strengthening an enabling environment. More information can be found on: www.accessdev.org