Agriculture is the main occupation of India’s rural population. However, given marginal land holdings of tribal cultivators, along with the adoption of primitive methods of cultivation, lack of assured water for irrigation, etc., productivity is low. Consequently, livelihood options have diminished proportionately in the rural areas, leading to poverty, lack of food security, and seasonal and permanent migration to towns and cities for better opportunities. The migration, in turn, has resulted in impoverishment, unplanned growth, and poor living and working conditions in the urban areas.
The Tata Trusts has recognised migration as an opportunity for economic and societal development, rather than an obstacle. The livelihoods portfolio of the Trusts focuses on the inclusive growth of marginalised populations in both rural and urban areas. Besides, development of skills (for individuals) and building the capacity of Community Based Organisations is an important focus area.
The overall scope of the portfolio covers food security, regaining agricultural dynamism, income generation, housing, food-based interventions, land rights, land law reforms, potable water and sanitation, etc.
The Central India Initiative is one of the flagship initiatives of the Tata Trusts, focusing its work in the central Indian tribal belts of the country. It strives to bring households irreversibly out of poverty with increased life choices.Explore
Gujarat, a state on the west coast of India, has been grappling with an environmental problem for over 30 years. Indiscriminate ground water extraction has led to the ingress of sea water into arable land, in many places reaching 10-15km inland.Explore
Punjab was the leading state in North India to harness the benefits of the Green Revolution. But with time, technologies such as high-yielding seeds, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and farm mechanisation lead to exploitation of natural resources - particularly ground water, deterioration in soil fertility, and environmental pollution.
The Central Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand have seen severe environmental degradation over the last century. Almost two-thirds of the state is designated as forest area; in reality, it is limited to about 46%.Explore
Despite being the largest state in India, Rajasthan lags behind other states on many development indicators. Its hostile climatic conditions, arid terrains, weak infrastructural facilities and frequent droughts have impeded efforts for development.
The high cost of agricultural production, low yields and indebtness have exacerbated the woes of farmers in the Vidharbha region in Maharashtra state, resulting in farmer distress.Explore
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.
The economy of the northeastern states is mainly based on subsistence agriculture and a system of shifting cultivation called jhum. Rampant and unchecked practice of jhum has put pressure on the fragile ecosystem and resulted in food scarcity; coupled with other problems, this has affected the quality of life in the region.
Underdevelopment, poor infrastructure and limited natural resources place Eastern Uttar Pradesh low on the development index. The predominantly rural population depends on agriculture for subsistence, but erratic irrigation due to alternating floods and droughts, and exploitative market systems make agriculture a low-profitable venture. Oppressive social systems add to the factors that have stymied development in the region.Explore
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and has since been tried out successfully in many countries across the world. SRI involves transplanting young single seedlings wide apart instead of the conventional method of transplanting multiple mature seedlings close together.Explore