This project will help 500 of Kolkata's most vulnerable families to lift themselves out of poverty and provide a better future for their children. Tiljala Shed will provide seed funding, advice, vocational and business skills training for women from rag picker families and others living in the city's most deprived slums and squatter camps.
Kolkata's estimated 70,000 rag pickers are very vulnerable. They are mostly illiterate, live in illegal shelters by the railways and canals. Many have no ID and therefore can't access their entitlements. They earn a small living by collecting and sorting waste from the city's streets. Since the recent introduction of waste compactors by the municipality rag pickers have found their incomes slashed in half or worse. They need new sources of income.
We provide conditional grants to extremely vulnerable families. A grant from Rs5000 - 20000 will enable a family to set up a small business selling vegetables or garments or to purchase a rickshaw or cycle van. The grant is conditional upon repayment into a central fund as well as keeping the children in education. This project has already helped over 200 families very successfully. But many more are waiting. These grants are now made exclusively to women.
Tiljala Shed will continue to provide the necessary training and funding to lift 500 of the poorest families in Kolkata out of poverty. Through our interventions, the adults will be equipped to make a better living and their children will stay in education to ensure that the next generation has an opportunity to benefit from India's growing economy. As the grants are repaid the program will become fully sustainable, transforming numerous lives.