SLDP: Firozabad

India

Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) is being implemented in the Firozabad area in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.  In Firozabad, SLDP is a part of ChildFund India’s Disha Children’s Program, an initiative to combat the menace of child labour prevalent in the area. SOCEO acts as a consulting partner in the implementation.

Firozabad

Firozabad is located in the north-central India in western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India. The city Firozabad lies 44 km away from Agra (the city of the famous Taj Mahal) and approximately 240 km away from the Indian capital Delhi. The district, which is called Firozabad as well, experiences extreme climate with temperatures varying between 2° C in winter to 47° C in summer. With an average rainfall of 751 mm and the proximity to Rajasthan, the climate of Firozabad is very dry.

Firozabad is known for its glass industry that produces different items like bangles, glasses and decoration materials. Large numbers of children are engaged in glass and especially bangle industry, which is the prime source of livelihood for all targeted communities in the program area. Due to this menace most children in the area hardly get any opportunity for their physical and cognitive development. Arresting the issue of child labour in glass and bangle industry in Firozabad is the main objective of Disha Children’s Program. Disha is an initiative of ChildFund India, which forms a part of ChildFund International, the global child development and protection agency serving more than 17.8 million children and family members in 30 countries.

The project and its objectives:

One of the ways Disha’s Children’s Program takes to arrest child labour is to develop options for alternative income generating activities and to improve the income of the target community. Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) is being implemented in Firozabad with these objectives. The youth and the older members of the community are participating in SLDP to create new individual and collective entrepreneurial ventures, which will enable them to escape the drudgery of Bangle work.

Modern entrepreneurial trainings empower the individuals to adapt to changing circumstances, to handle external shocks and to engage in innovative thinking for creating new entrepreneurial ventures. The motivation and ability of the participants observed during the course of the training and their brilliant performance in real-life entrepreneurship evince that community based entrepreneurial developments and developing a culture of self-reliance are capable of providing solutions for sustainable livelihood in underprivileged and impoverished communities. Since 2016 approximately 115 participants have attended entrepreneurship training in Disha.

One of the participants in February 2016 was Preeti. She belongs to a poor family and is currently living in one of the slums in the area where ChildFund India is working. During the training, Preeti took keen interest into understanding various components of business plan making with the guidance of trainer and LS-3 coordinators. Based on the conducted market survey she prepared a business plan to sell toys, called “inam” for kids in different shops. Due to its promising perspective, DISHA supported the project by giving 20.000 INR seed funding. Now, Preeti is running her business very actively and is earning 3.000 INR to 5.000 INR per month. Thereby, she can support her family and is helping her siblings to finance their education. 

Arnab Pathak takes care of the SLDP in Disha on behalf of SOCEO. Arnab leads the training team during the trainings.

“I like to be a trainer because it trained me to be a more organised and understanding person in life. The experience is special and satisfying for me because it gives me the opportunity to be a part of someone’s well being – this feeling is worth more than gold.” – Arnab Pathak