Securing Wellbeing of Poor Households and Communities in North East India
Engagement with rural communities, especially in the tribal populated pockets of Assam to begin with and later expanding to other states of North East India, is SeSTA's priority. Through women led processes it builds capabilities and strengthens livelihood systems to garner peace and accord in the area. Social mobilization through SHGs is a programme specially designed to achieve this.
SeSTA has taken initiative to groom persons who are called Community Service Providers (CSP), from the local area who become instrumental in providing goods and services required by the community. The other set of cadre groomed is Community Resource Persons (CRP). They are responsible for stimulating development related needs and demands for change in the community. E.g: triggering the formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs). SeSTA trains the community cadre at regular intervals to enhance their capabilities and equip them with various skills.
In order to increase the agricultural productivity of farmers and make it sustainable, SeSTA promotes System of Rice Intensification (SRI) among farmers. This initiative has resulted in the adoption of SRI technique of paddy cultivation by the community without any direct involvement of SeSTA. This outcome motivated SeSTA to spread this technique to other parts of Assam, in collaboration with different government and non-government organizations, at a larger scale. Not to mention, the same technique is progressed to cultivating second and third crops like vegetables and mustard and the farmers are provided training on the same.
SeSTA introduced organic agricultural practices to reduce the dependency of farmers on fertilizers, excessive usage of which creates an adverse impact on the environment and human health. SeSTA believes that in the long run, this will be a successful and sustainable model of agriculture, hence continuing to promote the same.
In order to diversify livelihood options, SeSTA is promoting commercial pig rearing and mushroom cultivation and is grooming people from the community to provide veterinary services to the pig rearers. Also, it has designed low cost scientific pigsty which can be replicated by every piggery farmer with minimal support.
Providing employment opportunities to the rural youth is an important dimension to SeSTA's livelihood programmes. For the purpose, SeSTA has identified and initiated its activities through Centre for Youth Advancement (CYA) with training programmes on sewing, knitting, embroidery, improved agriculture and basic computer literacy.
As there is a huge deficit of quality human resources to work in the villages, along with the communities, SeSTA has developed an Executive Traineeship Programme (ETP) to attract and groom human resource in the development sector. Also, considerable effort is continuously made to build capacities of existing employees through various training programmes, exposure visits, retreats etc.