The Social Transformation Economic Empowerment and Risk Reduction (STEER) Rural Project operates in Balangir, Kalahandi, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts in Odisha and Bankura district in West Bengal state. The project started its intervention in 250 communities with 12,883 households, which covers 54,490 population. The project’s goal is ‘Dalit, Tribes/Adivasi’s and other vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, without gender disparity, lead a life of dignity enjoying rights’. The Act Church of Sweden (Act CoS) and Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America (ELCA) have supported the project. The project targets those geographies with a high percentage of Tribal and Dalits who are at the bottom-most stage of the majority of socio-economic indicators.
The Gender Empowerment Project (GEP) covered 75 Slums as communities to achieve the project goals for The Urban poor of Kolkata, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, enhance gender equality in all spheres of life”. The project intended to reach 14,446 households and 58,979 populations through operations in the 4 states. LWSIT directly implemented the activities in partnership with community-based organizations, networking with different Govt. and non-Govt. agencies to achieve Gender equality in every sphere of life. Women members newly formed a total of 47 Self-Help groups. Actions were taken to strengthen 92 SHGs, 5 livelihood groups, 2 TG groups, 2DWA groups and 1 Women Association Violence Against Women (WAVAW). 24 CBOs were further strengthened through awareness programs, training, linkage building with financial institutions and exposure visit programs.
The Community Action for Peace and Reconciliation (CAP-R) Project in Assam focuses on establishing peace between different ethnic groups like Bodo, Santhal and Muslim communities, which share a long history of mutual animosity, and conflict. LWSIT intervention in this area was initiated after the large-scale riots broke out in the year 1996 between the Bodos and the largely marginalized groups in these areas- Santhals, Muslims and Hindu Bengali immigrants settled in these areas for generations. The work of LWSIT in peace contributed to SDG 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The project worked with the goal – “Target communities live in peaceful co-existence with social and economic empowerment due to stewardship of environment”.
The Development Support Program for Stone Quarry Affected Communities (DSSQC) project of LWSIT is operational in the Dumka district of Jharkhand and Birbhum district of West Bengal covering 100 communities, 3995 households and 18,608 populations. It is operational to “Improve the quality of life of the communities (Santhal and other weaker social groups) affected by stone quarries and stone crushing units in the project area. The project is implemented by LWSIT in partnership with the Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) with funding support from Normisjon.
The project aims to empower marginalized Tribal and Dalit women and adolescent girls in the Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts of Odisha, India. These districts are marked by high poverty rates, limited access to healthcare, and minimal educational opportunities, disproportionately affecting women and girls.
The project seeks to address these issues by implementing comprehensive interventions to enhance their health, provide non-formal education, create sustainable livelihoods, and promote women's leadership and gender equality.
The Project intervenes in the Kalahandi, Balangir, Mayurbhanj, Kendrapada and Jajpur districts of Odisha. The Goal of the Program is Overall Improvement in the lives and livelihood of farmers from underprivileged communities living in rural areas through improved sustainable agriculture practices. The Objective is to increase the income level of the household by 70% through improved farming and innovative agricultural techniques, Increase the trade of vegetables and non-vegetable crops through market linkage and update of modern agriculture techniques and Increase women's participation in economic activities through the formation of women's cooperatives and engaging Self-Help Groups. The broad implementation strategies for this project to be followed by LWSIT comprises; Strengthening local Community-based Organizations/Women Self-Help Groups in program interventions, capacity strengthening of Rights Holders for market linkage, introduction and retention of climate resilient variety of crops, business entrepreneurship through group and individual ventures, and formation and strengthening of Women Cooperatives for market linkage. It is expected that these strategies will help the project to roll out effectively for the benefit of underprivileged Dalits and Tribal people.
In India, there has been an increasing trend of climate-caused disasters in the last few years such as floods, cyclones and drought, which is affecting the most vulnerable individuals, marginal and small farmers, coastal and riverine habitations, women, children, PwD and elderly persons to the great extent. This has happened due to the increase in global temperature, sea level rise, melting of glaciers, etc. In the last year, five tropical cyclones formed over the north Indian Ocean. In this context, LWSIT’s various program interventions had a strong connection in addressing the national and international agenda. With a mandate of responding to disasters in PAN-India, LWSIT responded to the needs of different people affected by floods in the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of Assam, while it also provided relief assistance to the flood affected people in Cuttack, Kendrapada and Jajpur district of Odisha. Provided Humanitarian Assistance for the flood-affected vulnerable people in Assam, Transboundary Flood Resilience Project in South Asia, Assam State in India. Supported with Humanitarian Assistance and resilience building among the People affected by severe floods in ODISHA. Provided Humanitarian Assistance to the People affected by ethnic conflict in Manipur: LWSIT supported these people with relief materials.
LWSIT emphasized on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) on Quality Education. In this context, LWSIT ensured inclusive and equitable quality education as well as promoted lifelong learning opportunities for all. To improve the quality of education, LWSIT promoted the Child Education Centre (CEC) in 2018 to mainstream 30 dropout and laggard children, aged between 5yrs. to 14 yrs both (Boys and Girls) in the Ultadanga campus. To reach the objectives towards providing quality education (bridge course) and enrolment of the children to school or have been dropped out of school, are sent back to school after required pre-enrolment education. Children are taught through joyful learning and extra-curricular activities to enhance their mental growth/development and resilience to adapt to any circumstances and maintain good health and hygiene practices.
Shelter for Urban Homeless (SUH) is a sub-scheme under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), the scheme seeks to provide shelter to the urban poor. The current scheme is supported by the Controller of Vagrancy (CV ) dpt. Govt. of West Bengal. LWSIT is one of the approved Organizations to conduct SUH programs in Ultadanga, 33/7 Muraipukur Road, Kolkata 67. LWSIT has catered for the needs of 80 Homeless inmates through the SUH Project and provided adequate service as per guidelines by the SUH scheme.
In 2022, LWSIT staff surveyed the area of Ultadanga and found many children who need special services for care and protection. It was found that out of the 20 children, 17 were engaged in laborious jobs helping mothers and families making bottle caps, garments thread cutting etc. Most parents have no concern for their children’s development hence children go unnoticed for their holistic development. To address this concern for child development, LWSIT approached to Directorate of Child Rights and Trafficking, Dept. of Women and Child Development, and received approval from the Project Approval Board (PAB) under the Chairpersonship of the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).
In 2022, the Batik Print Training program for women (Vocational Training) under the SWAWALAMBAN Scheme was implemented in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. The program was supported by Govt. of West Bengal through the Dept. of Women Development Undertaking. 25 women from underprivileged communities comprising of Tribals and Dalits attended the Batik Print Training program for four months with effect from 19th July 2022. Out of 25 Trainees, 18 persons belong to Schedule Tribe (ST) and 7 persons belonging to Schedule Caste (SC). The training program was conducted at the Rural Development Centre of LWSIT in Sukna village of Charicha GP, Md. Bazar Block in Birbhum district. This was hands-on training imparted by the trained resource person.
LWSIT implemented the Asha Kiran Project with support from RILM. Under this project, the children within the age group of 7–14 years comprising both boys and girls were identified from the underprivileged communities from the rural areas in the Shikaripada block of Dumka district of Jharkhand state. The three main objectives of the project were (1) to create and sustain interest in education among the children who are out of school, dropouts or laggards, (2) to enhance relations and capacitate the schools to provide required and additional support for admission and retention of all the children those who have never attended the schools or dropouts and (3) to encourage the parents to send their children to schools and to follow up the regular attendance in schools. At the end of the project period, the assessment was done on 750 Children who had been mainstreamed in formal schools and are continuing their education in their respective schools.