Poverty Reduction and Livelihoods Promotion

Since 1990, India has cut poverty by half but even today, nearly 300 million people live in extreme poverty. UNDP supports government efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development that leads to transformational change, bringing about real improvements in people’s lives. Our programmes aim to secure livelihoods, support protective legislations and access to entitlements, provide policy research and evidence, build capacity and promote south-south cooperation to eradicate poverty, and ensure government’s anti-poverty policies are more inclusive.

Our Goals

To strengthen capabilities and opportunities to reduce poverty and marginalization – focusing on the most vulnerable and excluded population groups – in ways that are sustainable from economic, social and environmental standpoints.

Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP Indiamore

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Stories of Change

Building Skills, Building Futures

Building Skills, Building Futures

Short vocational training course in plastics engineering with assured placement for young women in Haryana, a state with one of the lowest female workforce participation rates in Indiamore 

Shattering Myths on the Factory Floor

Shattering Myths on the Factory Floor

Increasing women’s participation in India’s workforce is a key challenge for both the government and private sector. In the country’s steel industry, an important driver ofmore 

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Projects and Initiatives

  • Governance and Accelerated Livelihoods Support (GOALS)

    The project aims to strengthen the effectiveness of key programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development with a particular focus on livelihoods and employment in twelve districts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.more 

  • Strengthening National Capacities in Tribal Areas

    In partnership with the Ministry of Tribal Areas, Government of India, the project aims to ensure that excluded groups benefit from the inclusive agenda of the Government of India through strengthening capacities of communities to demand and access entitlements and ensuring decentralized institutions deliver timely and stigma-free services.more 

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Breaking Free: Rehabilitating Manual Scavengers

Partnering with UNDP to Rehabilitate Manual Scavengers

Partnering with UNDP to Rehabilitate Manual Scavengers

UNDP’s partnership with civil society group Jan Sahas is demonstrating that it is possible to create decent livelihoods free from discrimination and which ensures dignity for former manual scavengers, says Jan Sahas Convenor Asif Shaikh. more 

Breaking Free: From Manual Scavenging to Fish Farming

Breaking Free: From Manual Scavenging to Fish Farming

Manual scavenging refers to the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner, human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. Since 1993, key legislations have been enacted prohibiting employment of people as manual scavengers, banning the construction of dry latrines and providing rehabilitation.more 

Breaking Free: Women Champions End Manual Scavenging

Breaking Free: Women Champions End Manual Scavenging

Despite legislation that prohibits manual scavenging, it is estimated that a significant proportion of the country’s 2.6 million dry latrines are cleaned manually. Women comprise the vast majority of manual scavengers. Community advocates are playing an important role in ending the practice.more 

Breaking Free: Life After Manual Scavenging

Breaking Free: Life After Manual Scavenging

“I used to throw up all the time because I could not take the smell,” says Sevanti Bai, recalling the many decades she worked as a manual scavenger in Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh. Convinced by others in her community and the law which prohibits manual scavenging, she quit in 2007. Since then, she and her family have struggled, making ends meet, through odd jobs, working in the fields and cleaning grain. more