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Taking action to eradicate hunger, poverty and inequity

Taking action to eradicate hunger, poverty and inequity

Action on Hunger & Poverty Foundation has been working to create a society that has adequate food for everyone and equal opportunities for all

Published on September 20, 2021 at 1:41 am

AHP Foundation Director Ms Saraswathi Gopala Rao being awarded by the administration for her organisation’s work for the tribal communities of Jawadhu Hills during COVID-19.

Action on Hunger & Poverty Foundation (AHP) is a national organisation that supports, develops and strengthens people’s organisations at the community level to support themselves through capacity building, fellowships and small grants. it is committed to improving the lives of the poor and marginalised people by strengthening and empowering them, their families and the communities they live in to address their concerns, raise themselves out of poverty and hunger, to claim their rights and access programmes and services designed for them.

It envisions a society that has adequate food for everyone and equal opportunities for all, where people come forward to address hunger, poverty and inequity. Its mission is to build and enhance the local human potential to remove hunger, poverty and inequity.

Though hunger and poverty are both cause and effect, the real factors leading to these conditions can be traced back to issues of society like population, powerlessness, ignorance/illiteracy, gender discrimination, corruption and lack of genuine leaders. The promoters of AHP believe in the potential of promoting local leaders as the saviours of their communities in preventing social evils and in facilitating resources to the community for sustainable growth.

Livelihood initiative for local women.

AHP started with the idea of supporting small community-based organisations and helping them in developing a shared vision for consensus and action among community leaders in addressing poverty and hunger in an effective manner through capacity building, research and advocacy for policy changes.

“Tribal people – their rights matter. AHP Foundation works towards bringing people’s participation on issues that concern them, with their consensus. We aim to go beyond a basic ‘PRA-Checklist” approach and establish a livelihood model based on firm business principles. We plan on empowering tribal communities to gain them their due recognition and beyond,” says Ms Saraswathi Gopala Rao, Director, AHP Foundation.

Ms Saraswathi Gopala Rao is a founder Director of AHP Foundation. She established AHP – Action on Hunger & Poverty Foundation in 2014 along with two other like-minded individuals as a Section 8 Not-for-profit entity under the Indian Companies Act.

Ms Rao is a committed professional with over 29 years of experience on community development issues in rural India – with special reference to food and nutrition security, primary education, women and land rights, child rights, HIV and AIDS, mobility, anti-trafficking, disability and gender. She served Freedom from Hunger India Trust (promoted and nurtured by Freedom from Hunger – a US-based Charity) as the Chief Executive Officer from February 2014 to March 2019.

The District Collector attending the inauguration of Harvests of Hope, an agro-based initiative.

AHP in Madhya Pradesh

Established in 2014, AHP Foundation is currently in its eighth year of operation. AHP started supporting the Tarang Jan Kalyan Samiti (TJKS) following a systematic appraisal– contributing in a limited manner but significantly building up the lives of the tribal communities in Satna district, Madhya Pradesh. Over the period of continuous engagement with Tarang Jan Kalyan Samiti, it was able to:

  • Empower women to participate in the local Panchayat elections, systematically mobilising them to select their best representatives to contest in them. Seven members from the community won the election, including Ms Maina Rawat, who was elected Vice President of the Zila Parishad.

  • Form collectives for the women beedi and tendu leaf workers to give them appropriate forums in which to raise their issues.

  • Assist them with claiming land titles, of which they were able to successfully file and receive the titles for 1,750 land claims.

  • Form youth groups to monitor the functioning of local schools, and to encourage enrolment in them.

AHP in Tamil Nadu

Since the beginning of 2020, AHP Foundation has commenced social activities in the Jawadhu Hills region of Tamil Nadu.

  • As the COVID-19 lockdown forced many migrant labourers back home, AHP Foundation decided to intervene in this area with food and dry ration support to those in need. It did this for three months.

  • AHP was also able to hold dialogue with the local government officials, including the district collector and his team, to improve the basic facilities provided to the locals. This includes the building of a mud road for the tribes of Neknamalai – the first one in 73 years of independence.

  • In May 2021, AHP was able to convert a newly built tribal girls’ hostel of the forest government higher secondary school in Pudurnadu as a fully functional COVID Care Centre. This was done in collaboration with the District Health Services.

  • Launched agro-based initiatives within the area to sustain their livelihood during the agricultural off-season.

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