A lot of us might never be able to image how disruptive forest degradation can be while some out there are directly facing the consequences of it, much like the farmer groups of Ranikhet. Heavy deforestation has led to not just financial difficulties but has broken families as well.
It has forced the men of the families to migrate to urban cities in search of work, while the women are left behind. This situation gave birth to the ‘Livelihoods Improvement Program’ by Mahila Umang Samiti (set up by Grassroots in 2001), which aims at empowering single household women.
Through this initiative, more than 1500 women are engaged in improving the quality of their life through sales of food products like honey, pulses, dry fruits, pickles and much more. Thanks to the effort of Umang, these women have learnt agriculture and food processing skills. More importantly, they have found a voice and a sense of ownership as shareholders of their own company.
Watch their story below: