Apply to Join
Jul 10, 2017

Your donations worth 40% more this Wednesday

Rizia Bibi
Rizia Bibi

This Wednesday 12th July is GlobalGiving's Bonus Day.

Meet Rizia.  Rizia lives in Kolkata’s Topsia canalside squatter camp. She lives in a shelter with no toilet and no running water: she has to queue twice a day to collect drinking water at one of just two taps for this community of 710 families.  Most of these families have traditionally survived on rag picking – collecting  and sorting  other people’s waste.  But since the introduction of waste compactors in Kolkata, it is much harder to make a living. The aim of this project is to help these vulnerable families establish alternative livelihoods through microfinance.

Last March Rizia took out a Rs10,000 (£120) grant under this livelihood scheme to invest in her sandal (chappal) selling business.  Inside 10 months she had repaid the loan in full; her business is thriving and she told me when I visited her that she is saving up for a bigger home for her household of eight. Like many of the men, Rizia’s husband is disabled through years of backbreaking labour, so he is rarely able to work. As a condition of the grant, Rizia ensures that her children remain in education. When I visited Rizia in February she proudly showed me her bank passbook, her livelihood scheme documentation and the record of the savings that she and other women in her SHG (self-help group) have accumulated.

I think Rizia is magnificent: she is friendly humorous, courageous, optimistic, smart and hard working. She is a leader in her community and fully understands how to make the best of the opportunities that Tiljala SHED and donors like you offer her. There are many more like Rizia… 

And the Rs10,000 grant, fully repaid by Rizia, will be used again and again to help others like Rizia to improve their lives.

On Wednesday at 2 pm BST or 9 am EDT you have an opportunity to make your donation go 40% further. Please set a reminder and make a contribution, however small, to help empower other women like Rizia  

Rizia's repayments
Rizia's repayments
Jul 10, 2017

Nafisha's Success. Get 40% more for your donation on Weds.


Just over a year ago I reported this about Nafisha...

Nafisha is 15 years old and studying in class IX at an Urdu medium school. She lives with her parents and 3 siblings in a rented room 8’ X 10’. Her father takes home just £50 a month of which £10 is paid in rent. She says ”I really want to continue my education to masters level. I want to stand on my own feet”

Today I am delighted to report that Nafisha has passed her crucial Class X board exams and is looking forward to continuing in school and on to university.  This is an extraordinary achievemnt for a girl from a desperately poor slum family.  Nafisha is well on the way to being empowered through financial independence.   As an educated woman she will be able to determine whether, when and whom she marries. She will be able to support her own family and gain the respect of the community.  And it is thanks to you, as well as her own determination, that Nafisha has such a bright future. 

This Wednesday 12th July a donation towards a girl like Nafisha is worth 40% extra as it is a GlobalGiving bonus day.  If you set up a monthly recurring donation your first month's donation will be doubled.  

So please get online  at 2 pm (BST) or 9 am (EDT and help make a difference

Thank you very much

Jun 9, 2017

Read how you empowered Aleya

Aleya - set up new business and repaid grant
Aleya - set up new business and repaid grant

The Alternative Livelihood programme, thanks to your generous donations, is truly changing lives – and not only by helping increase incomes.  As a rag picker (and likely to be female) you are right at the bottom of society.  Even in the squatter camps, where most families engage in rag picking, those who are not rag pickers enjoy a higher status: they get to the front of the queue to collect water.  So by helping a woman like Aleya to switch from the despised occupation to the more dignified fruit or vegetable selling, she gains status in the community. And you’ll see from the story below that this empowered her to approach her children’s school management to demand better school dinners.  And this is exactly what will bring about real change in these communities – the confidence to assert your rights.

Anirban, Tiljala SHED’s Programme Manager, reports on one of the beneficiaries:

“Aleya is an enterprising and vibrant woman. There are eight members in the family consisting of husband, wife, four sons, one daughter and one daughter –in-law. All the members live together in a squatter near Topsia canalside. Her younger daughter studies in class IV and attends coaching regularly in our remedial education centre.

Earlier Aleya was a rag picker, but one opportunity changed her profession. On 17 June 2016 Tiljala SHED granted her Rs.8000 to help her establish an alternative livelihood. She bought vegetables from Sealdah market and sold them in her local Topsia market. Her business started profiting. Now she is earning Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day. Aleya is doing multiple businesses like printing on Flip flop ‘chappals’, she also sells a popular snack “Jhal muri” in the evening. Her older children are also involved in ‘chappal’ printing.

Aleya is a courageous lady. One day she gathered few ladies and went to her daughter’s school where the quality of the statutory mid-day meal was poor. She fought with the School Management Committee and asked the committee to provide the children with a good midday meal. Now Aleya’s financial condition has become stable and she is leading a good life. Aleya has repaid her grant totally. She wants further grants from Tiljala SHED to expand her business.”


About the Livelihood Programme

Since the introduction of waste compactors by the municipality, rag pickers have found their incomes have dropped by half.  In response to this crisis Tiljala SHED raised funds through GlobalGiving and ran a pilot livelihood programme through 2016.  87 small conditional grants were made to destitute families. The loans averaged Rs10,000.  Some beneficiaries received rickshaws or cycle vans and others, like Aleya, set up or invested in informal retail businesses.  The grants are conditional upon repayment into a revolving savings group fund and undertakings by the families to keep their children in education. The beneficiaries in each area have formed CIGs (credit interest groups) which are now responsible for ensuring prompt repayment and also authorising new grants.  The scheme has been very successful with 97% of beneficiaries repaying promptly into the revolving fund.  75% of the beneficiaries have been women and they report not only economic improvements but also reduction in domestic violence.

 “I have power and respect now” said Doulari from Park Circus.


The numbers

118    Total grants made since April 2016                                     

94      No of beneficiaries who have increased their income        

87      No of grants from original fund                                             

31      No of new grants from loans already repaid into revolving fund    

Highest grant amount =  Rs15,000

Lowest grant amount = Rs3,000



  • Reduced levels of domestic violence
  • Evidence of empowerment (see Aleya’s story)
  • School drop-out rates have dropped from 16% to 3%
  • Reduction in alcohol and drug use
  • Social participation has improved
  • Both adults and children taking more interest in education
Aleya - printing chappals
Aleya - printing chappals
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.