India

More democracy, less violence - that's the main focus of SWISSAID's work in India.

In India, one of SWISSAID's focus is promotion of people's cooperative movement for livelihood development in the central and western states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chattisgad. We work particularly with the people who are adversely affected by unequal economic development and are victims of structural violence. The main focus population is women, adivasis (indigenous communities) and dalits (lower-caste Hindus, or "untouchables").

The SWISSAID programme in India aims to curb discrimination and infringement of human rights by democratizing civil society institutions and empowering the most marginalized to fight for their rights. To achieve this goal, we strengthen local decision-making bodies and interest groups, such as Adivasi organisations and women's self-help groups. The idea is to enable both women and men to participate in the decision-making process.

Ensuring food security is a core area of intervention: SWISSAID supports people's organizations in their efforts to develop, manage and control their livelihood sources to ensure food security. We promote sustainable farming, we halp Dalits manage natural resources, and we support landless families to generate income opportunities besides farming.

No forest, no livelihood: a journey to the Baiga people in the jungle
Even once the right of the indigenous Indian Baiga people to use the forest had been written into the constitution, the implementation of these rights still left room for improvement. SWISSAID gave the process new impetus. All those concerned – humans, animals and plants – are equally better off.
Best development aid project for impoverished farmers: Indian partner organisation collects prize
Our Indian partner the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Hyderabad has received a prestigious award for its relief work against hunger amongst the rural population. SWISSAID congratulates the centre on its success.
SWISSAID Partner Organisation Awarded the Equator Prize 2012 at Rio+20
Well done! Shashwat, our long-standing Indian partner organisation, has won the prestigious Equator Prize awarded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its outstanding work over the last two decades.
Violence against women – an urgent matter
One woman in four suffers violent abuse in India and cannot count on getting help. SWISSAID supports those affected to build a new life.
Charity run against domestic violence in India
To highlight the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, volunteers are joining in Sunday’s Pune International Marathon to raise awareness on behalf of SWISSAID of the numerous cases of rape and sexual harassment of women.
Run with Aid for Change against violence against women
For the first time, AID FOR CHANGE is taking part in the Pune International Marathon which will be held on Sunday, 1st December. Please sign up to run with the charity a 6 km course, raise awareness and support the cause - Stop Violence, Empower Women. Violence is not acceptable! One woman in four suffers violent abuse in India and cannot count on getting help. AID FOR CHANGE supports those affected to build a new life and raises awareness about this issue through the campaign ‘Stop Violence, Empower Women’.
Where there’s a will …
The ethnic Baiga people in India experience nothing of the economic boom on the subcontinent. Not even their most basic needs – sufficient nutrition, basic health and education – are met. While there is no shortage of legislation to promote the ethnic minorities, there is a real lack of political will to implement it. To step into the breach, SWISSAID’s partners have enlisted the help of volunteers.
Ways Out of the Debt Trap
In the Indian region of Vidarbha, many farmers are up to their ears in debt and have no prospects. The high prices for cultivating their products and climate change pressurise them into subsistence living. The conversion to ecologically sustainable agriculture brings relief – for the farmers, the soil and the wallet.
Savita’s success story: “It’s all just because I converted to organic cultivation methods”
Success across the board: Savita’s patience, persistence and her belief in organic farming were the foundations of her rise from humble farmer to highly regarded expert.
Together not alone – men fight for more gender equality
In the Indian district of Purandar women are often victims of brutal violence and discrimination. They have no say in society. Working against this, SWISSAID holds the men accountable.
“It makes me happy”
Negotiating the bureaucratic obstacles in India: thanks to their many volunteers, village communities manage to exercise their right to work and to own woodland and land.
Commitment for Indigenous Adivasis Reaps Unparalleled Rewards
Mendah, a village in the Maharashtra region of India where SWISSAID is active, was the first community countrywide to be granted forestry usage rights including selling bamboo on its own account. Now, other communities will also profit from this: the new project will help 50 villages secure rights to exploit their forests.
Violence against women: Undergoing dramatic change for the better
The same Dalit men who once used to beat and rape their wives and neighbours’ wives are now helping to teach others never to do this kind of thing again. The women are also learning how to change their passive acceptance of such acts of violence. SWISSAID's Indian partner organisation, SPMM (Savitribai Phule Mahila Mandal), is supporting this successful strategy for change.
Pardhi women offered the chance of self-determination
About one third of the Pardhi tribe has obtained official identity papers, thanks to SWISSAID’s assistance. This gives them access to state support. Now, a targeted campaign is under way to help women assert their own identity in India’s patriarchal society.
Higher income thanks to lentil mill
India’s agricultural policy and its focus on export products was the ruin of many farmers in the Vidarbha region. The conversion to organic cultivation and GM-free crops has already taken about 50,000 farmers out of the debt trap. Now YUVA, a SWISSAID partner organisation, aims to boost profits with a lentil mill and to expand the market.