GVS has emerged as a pioneer organisation in imparting livelihood opportunities to the needy poor communities through income generation activities. After toying with several IGAs, the organisation perfected production of incense sticks way back in 1990 when Central Social Welfare Board of the Government of India started financing the activity. Today nearly 700 women and grown up children belonging to nearly 300 families in five villages of Bachhrawan development block in Rae Bareli district are part time engaged in this activity. These women are now able to meet their requirements on their own and solve financial problems of the families by making contributing to the family kitty.
Nearly 70 quintals of incense sticks are produced per month. Their marketing is a tough task. The organisation has tied up with a number of incense stick producers and traders and sells the commodity in bulk to them. They in turn sell the produce under their respective brand names. The organisation is yet to go in for its own brand because of challenging marketing conditions.
Apart from this, the organisation has helped self help groups (SHGs) with support from donors like Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), National Minorities Development Finance Corporation (NMDFC) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). At present the number of SHGs stands at 100. Many groups have been linked with banks for credit after grading and with the funds available, they have taken up income generation activities of their choice. The SHGs have won accolades from NABARD officials, usually concerned with mere savings and credit activity. For comments please click here.
The role of SHGs is, however, not limited to mere savings and credit and income generation. They are repeatedly being given inputs and training in health, education and community problem sectors so as to turn them into entities of social transformation.
Of late cluster level associations have been formed to give collective voice to the people. An overarching federation, however, is yet to be formed.