Adhikar was established in 1991 by a group of intellectuals under the leadership of Mr. Mohammad Nooruddin Amin to make a significant contribution in the lives of underprivileged slum dwellers of Bhubaneswar (especially women and children) who were agonized under social and legal discriminations, poor and unhygienic living conditions and threat from insensitive state machinery. Adhikar believed that when women have access to better income and health, then their families’ access to healthcare, nutritious food and education improves.
Inspired by the philosophy of Ashoka Foundation Mr. Amin led Adhikar to become the leading organization in Self Help Group (SHG) movement and pioneered the Cooperative banking model in Odisha. Adhikar adapted the model to directly implement its developments in federating the SHGs and connect them to the resources like finance, technology, information and market, so that ultimately the poor communities grow and ride with country’s economic growth. Adhikar also took a leading role in advocating for the cause and recognition of the SHGs. This culminated in formation of SHG Cooperative law in 2001 in Odisha.
Initiation of Integrated Slum Development Programme with a mission to help poor people (especially women and children) establish their rights, improve livelihood, and live a dignified life. Adhikar created access and opportunity for women through awareness, institutional credit facility and handholding to engage them to seek their own economic empowerment. Eventually as the programme greatly impacted the families, focus also was given to the education of the children. The programme emphasized remedial education for the children to enrich their learning experience. Adhikar has rebuild the social and economic lives of 1000 households under this initiative.
The humanitarian response to the 1999 Super Cyclone (Mahabatya) in Odisah. While the SHG cooperative movement began to gain its momentum, Super Cyclone completely paralyzed the social and economic life of the people living mostly in the coastal districts. Adhikar along with others initiated Odisha Disaster Mitigation Mission (ODMM) to coordinate the relief operations and optimal use of resources mobilized from across the world. Focusing on the financially poor people (especially women, children and elderly) Adhikar under this programme acted promptly to address the immediate needs of the affected people and rebuilding their lives and livelihood.
To reduce vulnerability of the migrant workers through support service Adhikar started ‘Shramik Sahajog Kendra’ in Tangi block of Khurda district. Large numbers of workers migrate to urban areas within and outside the state to work in informal sectors. Policy makers perceive migration largely as a problem but in reality it is a market driven phenomenon. Adhikar recognises this and also advocate reducing vulnerability, exploitation and enables them to live a dignified life. More than 10000 families benefited through this programme.
Lunch of its internationally acclaimed programme ‘Money Remittance’. Providing solution to distress migrants staying in foreign environments difficult to cope with has been of long term commitments throughout our journey. In the post Bhuj earthquake team Adhikar visited and identified the challenges and exploitation faced by Odia migrants to transfer the hard earned money to their dependants. The model was adapted by Adhikar to remove the barriers and fight against exploitation and resolve their issues of money transfer. Within 3 years of operation we could address a large canvas of people and the transaction scaled up to 1 crore per month
Realising the idea of “Social Entrepreneurship” is the driving force behind sustainable and holistic development of the financially poor and vulnerable communities, Adhikar established ‘Khandagiri Madhyamika Mahila Samabaya Sangha Ltd’ (the first secondary cooperative in Odisha) to reduce their overall financial anxiety and help focus on their livelihood. Capacity building training and handholding leverage their ability to become financially self-sustained and productive.
Initiation of livelihood restoration programme ‘Improving Livelihood of Rural Poor in Odisha’. It was started in 2009 to enhance the farming and livestock rearing output in Ranpur block of Nayagarh district. The aim was to empower the grassroots farmers’ community to revive farm-based livelihood opportunity. They were supported with intensive training, handholding, and forming ‘Farmer Cooperatives’, which leveraged the farmers in saving, credit and marketing the products. The modern farming technique in the form of SRI method was introduced to enhance the productivity and seed bank to sustain the genetic diversity and resilience to natural calamity. Over 1500 families were benefited through the project.
The innovative initiative of establishing Adhikar ITI is to nurture the unskilled youths and make them employable. More than 700 million Indians are estimated to enter the working age group by 2022 of which 500 million youth lack basic skill to get a decent job. On the other hand with the surge in economic activities there is a demand for skilled workforce. This led Adhikar to establish Adhikar ITI at Gania in Nayagarh district in 2011. It gives focus attention on youths from migrant and financially poor households to impart skill and improve their capability. The training institute is accredited by NCVT, Government of India and offer 13 trades including Communication and Customer Service, Skill Applicability and Enhancement, Work Skills, Professional Get Up, Placement and certification. Over the years Adhikar has nurtured more than 2350 rural youths as skilled workforce under its various skill development programmes.
‘Jeevan Dhara’ a sustainable solution to Water and Sanitation. To improve health and prevent infectious diseases among rural communities, largely depend on clean drinking water and proper sanitation. Adhikar attempts to create low-cost infrastructure for the accessibility of clean water and sanitation facility for poor families. The program aims at creating awareness, training, and enabling the poor to get the maximum benefit out of it. We have touched the lives of more than 8000 families and improved access to clean drinking water and proper sanitization. To improve the livelihood of the underprivileged dairy farmers of Nayagarh district, Adhikar in association with International Finance Corporation, Delhi initiated Adhikar Community-based Dairy Project. Under the programme, farmers were trained with modern dairy farming techniques and fodder.
Emergency Food Security Programme – addressing the immediate need of the flood affected people in Odisha. Sever cyclonic storm Phailin and flood devastated the socio-economic condition of the people in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts, affecting more than 11 lacs people. Loss of crops and lack of opportunity for income resulted in acute food insecurity among the affected families. Often many mothers remained hungry to feed their children. Responding to the humanitarian needs of the communities Adhikar joined with others to meet their food requirement and rebuild their livelihood. This led to the initiation of ‘Food Security for Flood affected Population’ in April 2014 with support from USAID. It aimed at rebuilding the damaged houses and creating workdays with Rs 165/ per day. Adhikar improved the food security of 3330 households in 3 blocks of Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts.
Saline water laced with Arsenic in the Chilika region creates serious health related problems for the poor and marginalized. Due to poverty, they are unable to afford treated water from commercial sources and water purifiers at home. Adhikar established a community-managed water treatment plant that provides RO & UV treated drinking water at their doorstep @ 50 paisa per litter.
The skill development initiative in India is the foundation of tomorrow’s workforce. It maps the demand and supply gap and works towards bridging the gap. The school dropout rural youths of Odisha remain unemployed or receive low wages due to a lack of skilling. To bridge the growing gaps in a skilled workforce and leverage the rural youth, Adhikar initiated “Skill for Livelihood Programme”. It aims at skill training with a multi-dimensional approach and provides free residence to the trainees, learning materials and placement. So far Adhikar has trained more than 2300 rural youths in collaboration with different stakeholders including BOSCH, Tata Project Community Development Trust, NSDC-SAB. NABARD, HSBCSWADESH Foundation, OSDA.
Adhikar got empaneled as Technical Agency (TA) for implementation of Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) under Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Ministry of Micro Small & Medium enterprises, Govt. of India by providing close handholding, training and implementation support to the SFURTI clusters.
Adhikar signed MoU with Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) in May 2020 to establish the Migration Support Center/Post Placement Support Center (MSCs/PPSCs) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha with an objective to offer counseling, access to information, acclimatization support and targeted services to the successful trainees of DDUGKY, migrated from their native place in search of better employment prospects. The MSCs work through a network of walking resource centers catering to the requirements and exigencies faced by workers and their families.