The Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana–National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) is making a difference to the lives and livelihoods of over 3.6 crore households from where women have joined Self Help Groups (SHGs). The collectives of women under SHGs, Village Organisations (VOs) and Cluster Level Federations (CLFs) has evolved transformational social capital that is changing gender relations, access to services and participation in Gram Sabhas and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
Under the DAY-NRLM, over 30 lakh women farmers have been supported under Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) to promote sustainable agricultural practices.The DAY-NRLM programme has reached nearly 1/3rd of the Gram Panchayats of the country and efforts for its consolidation and expansion are being continuously made.
To facilitate diversification of livelihoods, skill development for Placement Based Wage Employment and self-employment was promoted on a large scale through the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY) and Rural Self Employment & Training Institutes (RSETIs) respectively under DAY-NRLM. 1.60 lakh youth were trained and 79,400 placed under DDUGKY besides 4 lakh youth being trained in 585 RSETIs for self-employment in 2016-17. 12 new Champion Employers were selected under DDUGKY for high quality training and committed placements. Some of the Champion Employers are Cafe Coffee Day, Apollo Mediskills, Team lease, etc. Training of drivers was also started at a large number of RSETIs during the year.
The first National evaluation of DAY-NRLMhas been completed recently by the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). The draft report recognises the social capital developed through women’s collectives at village level. The evaluation finds that the NRLM strategy has led to greater demand expression of rural poor not just through their weekly meetings but also through collective action in production as well as on social issues. Transforming lives through an even larger scale diversification and development of livelihoods is clearly the way forward to reach the Mission Antyodaya objective of Poverty free Gram Panchayats.