According to a 2012 World Bank report, South Odisha is no better than sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to human development indicators. Infant and maternal mortality, female illiteracy, lack of access to education, sanitation, clean water, basic healthcare facilities, etc., are some of the factors that contribute to low quality of life in South Odisha.
Since 2003, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trusts have partnered with more than 30 organisations on projects targeting livelihood enhancement, education, health and improving the condition of migrant labourers in South Odisha. Together, they have impacted changes such as crop productivity enhancement, supporting multilingual education, curbing malaria and setting up migration resource centres in the region.
In the coming years, the Trusts aim to transform the quality of life of 25,000 households in a cluster of five blocks in South Odisha that score very low in the human development index. The programme will focus on areas such as cultivation of high-value crops, supporting youth entrepreneurship, reducing dropout, ensuring grade appropriate learning level in children, health services in remote locations, providing safe drinking water and improving sanitation facilities.