The/Nudge Centre for Rural Development proposes to invest ₹200 crore to support rural livelihoods and help poor households impacted by Covid-19, access government programmes, subsidies schemes, and private sector investment.

Called Asha Kiran - the Hope Project, the initiative is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Foundation, FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence, HT Parekh Foundation, Godrej, RBL Bank, KPMG among others.

Focused on Uttar Pradesh as the primary state along with neighbouring geographies, Asha Kiran will build upon government priorities and programmes, to scale high-impact models, in partnership with the government. Asha Kiran’s implementation partners include Transform Rural India Foundation, Indus Action, Magic Bus, Heifer International, Trust Community Livelihoods, The Goat Trust, Haqdarshak and others.

Creating livelihoods

“The/Nudge has been working in Jharkhand for the past three years, creating livelihoods for underprivileged communities in 110 villages. With the effect Covid-19 has had, we are expanding this work to Uttar Pradesh. Partnering with the UP government we will be able to spread and scale the impact of our work to underprivileged families in the hardest hit districts in the largest state in our country,” said Ashish Karamchandani, President, The/Nudge, in a statement.

Since the first wave, Asha Kiran has been running sizable pilots on the ground in Uttar Pradesh, both responding to the immediate needs and building long-term sustainable livelihoods, to help UP’s rural poor, especially women, deal with the crushing blow of the pandemic. Asha Kiran has been active in seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, reaching 80,000+ households to improve their food security, income security and to build long-term sustainable livelihoods.

Cost-effective interventions

Asha Kiran is acting as a force-multiplier and scaling targeted, high-impact and cost-effective interventions which include enabling access to MGNREGS and PDS, input distribution and kitchen gardens to provide immediate relief in addition to improving agricultural incomes through high value crops, productivity and market linkages and adding secondary income via goatery & backyard poultry. Asha Kiran’s investment of ₹200 crore is likely to unlock ₹800 to ₹1,000 crore of benefits to rural communities through access to government schemes and private sector investments, the statement said.