TEZPUR, May 19: Seven Sisters Development Assistance (SeSTA), in partnership with Axis Bank Foundation (ABF) has launched a rural livelihood initiative, ‘Promoting Rural Innovators for Development and Empowerment’ (PRIDE) in Teok.
SeSTA’s programme director Prakash Lakra said that the PRIDE project is a joint collaboration of SeSTA and ABF and aims to support the underprivileged rural families residing in Jorhat, Tinsukia, Majuli, and Dhemaji districts of the region.
“The project will create a significant impact on the lives of these beneficiaries by promoting agricultural and allied entrepreneurship. Through systematic interventions in the value chain and the introduction of livelihood diversification activities, it will strengthen community institutions led and governed by women.”
He mentioned adding that it would empower SeSTA and ABF to address the socio-economic issues of poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, improved access to quality services, and increased employment opportunities for these communities.
“We have launched it on Thursday in Teok and we feel that the event will serve as a platform for the project stakeholders and the participants to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on strategies to maximise the positive outcomes of the project.”
Lakra further mentioned and added that SeSTA came into being in 2011, works directly with rural communities, aiming to uplift their capabilities eradicating poverty with special focus on Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura having till date positive impact upon around 70,000 households across 2,024 villages. By enhancing livelihoods, promoting agency, and empowering rural women as leaders, SeSTA creates lasting change at the grassroots level emerging with a vision to drive inclusive and sustainable development in north-east India. He also mentioned that it was established in 2006 with the objective of giving focus and structure to the bank’s corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship agenda Axis Bank Foundation mandatorily enhancing economic development for rural communities through its Sustainable Livelihood Program.
Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion held on Thursday, Dhruvi Shah, executive trustee and CEO, Axis Bank Foundation, said that their association with SeSTA builds on the work they are doing on rural livelihood through their programme named Sustainable Livelihood Program.
“Through this partnership, we will support more than thirty thousand rural families across 8 blocks of 4 districts to enhance and strengthen their livelihoods. A community led approach has been envisaged to promote natural resource management, improve farm productivity, foster market linkages and promote micro enterprises. We believe that this partnership will go a long way in improving the socio-economic conditions of local communities and fostering an environment of self-reliance,” said Dhruvi Shah.
Attending the event, Pradyut Bhattacharya, executive director of SeSTA mentioned that the programme materialised through the unwavering support of dedicated line departments would be a catalyst one the women farmers fostering community assets and amplifying ongoing activities. Among others dignitaries like PRI members and officials from Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) were also present in the programme and inaugurated the project in presence of officials from SeSTA and ABF.