Uttarakhand also referred to as the ‘Land of Divinity’, is a state in the northern part of India. It is located in the lap of the Himalayas , with Hindu pilgrimages and shrines  spread across the state making it a major pilgrimage destination. There are 13 districts in Uttarakhand which are grouped into two divisions, Kumaon and Garhwal.

The Kumaon division includes the following districts:  

  • Almora
  • Bageshwar  
  • Champawat  
  • Nainital  
  • Pithoragarh
  • Udham Singh Nagar

The Garhwal division includes the following districts:  

  • Dehradun
  • Haridwar  
  • Tehri Garhwal  
  • Uttarkashi  
  • Chamoli  
  • Pauri Garhwal
  • Rudraprayag

ECONOMY

Uttarakhand has been a growing economy since its inception as a state in the year 2000. The economy mainly thrives on tourism as a service sector and agriculture.  Its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) (at constant prices) more than doubled from 24,786 crore in 2005 to 60,898 crore in 2012. The real GSDP grew at 13.7% (CAGR) from 2005–2012. The contribution of the services sector to the GSDP of Uttarakhand was a little over 50% in 2012. The per capita income in Uttarakhand was 82,193 (2012) which is higher than the national average of 60,603 (2012). According to the Reserve Bank of India, the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the state from April 2000 to October 2009 was US$ 46.7 million.

Agriculture is one of the most significant sectors in the economy of Uttarakhand. Basmati rice, wheat, soybeans, groundnuts, coarse cereals, pulses, and oil seeds are the most widely grown crops. Fruits like apples, oranges, pears, peaches, litchis, and plums are widely grown and important to the large food processing industry.

Other key industries include tourism and hydro power, and there has been a significant development in IT, ITES, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and automobile industries. The service sector of Uttarakhand comprises of tourism, IT, higher education and banking. 

 

RECENT CHALLENGES 

The state of Uttarakhand has been adversely affected by flash floods. This was primarily due to the 2013 monsoons which came 20 days before the expected time  in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Continuous rainfall between 14th to 17th June 2013 resulted in increased water levels in the rivers Alaknanda, Mandakini and Bhagirathi. Incidents of cloudbursts also aggravated the situation. Over 60 hours of continuous rain disrupted the normal life in the States. As the situation started unfolding it was estimated that more than 60,000 pilgrims were stranded. The worst affected areas were Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh and Tehri. The Army, ITBP and National Disaster Response Force, were immediately pressed into action for a very complex & exhaustive human rescue operation. The more recent disaster, initiated from the higher Himalayan region, starting from holy shrine of Kedarnath to Tilwara Village of Rudraprayag district also affected the lives of the local people adversely.

 

THE AFTERMATH 

Livelihood: Tourism, a major source of livelihood in the region, suffered a big jolt because most of the affected villages are situated on the National Highway which leads to the Holy Shrine of Kedarnath and Badrinath Temples. Small and medium entrepreneurs have been badly affected due to the flash floods. Agriculture has also suffered as a result of the flash floods. The service class have also been affected since a good number of people from this category have lost their homes.

Education: The floods destroyed many school buildings. All schools had been temporarily closed down and were opened after 15th July 2013 in makeshift compounds. Uniforms, Textbooks, Bags, reading & writing materials were washed away.

Food:The floods critically affected the food supply chain in the villages. The local populace attempts to purchase food & other basic supplies from local markets and shops that have reopened. However, these markets are cut off from the main markets from where essential food commodities were being bought by wholesale traders as most roads and bridges have been washed away. Apart from physical accessibility to markets, people’s purchasing power has also been severely impacted.

Housing: The damage to shelters was most visible. Many houses were buried under the silt brought by the river. In fact, as a result of incessant rains, water levels in the river increased to about 15 meters flooding roads and completely destroying the shelters constructed on the river banks. Houses at Rudraprayag district were mostly affected.

 

Our Objective – Reinventing Uttarakhand, Reshaping Lives !

Sewa International started working in Uttarakhand after the devastating floods in June 2013 . What initially started as relief and rehabilitation operation , has since evolved into a holistic plan  for the socio-economic development of the community.

1. AGRICULTURE, MANUFACTURING AND SERVICES SECTOR

Sewa International remains focused on empowering local communities by providing extensive training in sustainable agricultural practices to decrease farmer dependence on expensive inputs such as chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc. This includes teaching them seed and crop improvisation, vermicompost, natural pest management and other organic farming practices. We also focus on empowering the women in agriculture by helping them establish structures such as village development committees and Self Help Groups.

An important element of this project is to develop and promote sustainable programme in the domain of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Small and Medium Micro-enterprise development and bring the people above the poverty line as far as possible in most affected areas of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.

The primary objectives of this project are: –

  • To provide technical support to agricultural farmers, this will help them to become self reliant and self-dependent.
  • Intervention for skill upgradation, use of new tools and techniques, provision of adequate infrastructure, marketing etc.
  • To ensure effective, collective participation of all the members involved in production and marketing process for optimal growth.
  • To provide sustainable and long-term marketing network and linkages.
  • To provide social welfare & social security to the beneficiaries.

Our efforts for rehabilitation have thus far resulted in –

  • Community Sensitization in more than 50 villages
  • Construction of Divya Vidhyalaya in Chhinka, Chamoli
  • 7 operating Computer training centers
  • 4 Knitting training centers

Sewa International continues to invigorate the Manufacturing Sector within the state. Manufacturing comprises of sub-domains like Organic Food , Food Processing , Herbs, Aromatics , Animal Husbandry , Knitting Weaving, Handicrafts, Recycling. 

The Service Sector covers domains like Digital Literacy , Tourism , Disaster Management , Health & Hygiene , Other Soft Skills

Our projects in the state of Uttarakhand have helped create a surge of hope for the localities by instilling a self-confidence in them via our skill programs & means of livelihood have been created. Here is a list of the projects currently running in the state as part of Sewa International’s relentless rehabilitation and reinstatement efforts.

2. SEWA KAUSHAL VIKAS KENDRA

The Sewa Kaushal Vikas Kendra aims at setting up multi-sectoral skill development centers in Chamoli & Rudraprayag districts with an outreach to over 5,000 families resulting in appx 25,000 beneficiaries.

Our Initiatives

  • Land identification in each district
  • Infrastructure development
  • Defining and Initiating activities in the Health, Digital literacy, Agriculture, Non-Agri and Tourism sectors
  • Empanelment of training partners
  • Formulation of training, livelihood and activity calendars
  • Institution building for sustainable market linkage

3. SEWA KRISHI

Sewa Krishi is an agricultural initiative which aims at promoting organic farming, especially focusing on promoting produce unique to the Himalayan region. The focus also remains on generating livelihood means through agricultural activity.

Our Initiatives

  • Community farming on over 10 Hectares
  • Facilitation of Tools, Training & Technology
  • Bringing technical & Research partners into the system like Pantnagar University.
  • Development of 3 Agri-Demo centers
  • Institution building for sustainable market linkage

4. SEWA MAHILA JYOTI

The pivotal objective of Sewa Mahila Jyoti is women’s empowerment focusing on local art, crafts & artisans. The activities are based around creating livelihood opportunities through local art forms & culture.

Our Initiatives

  • Facilitation of Tools, Training & Technology
  • Bringing technical & Research partners into the system
  • Institution building for sustainable market linkage
  • 6 knitting training and 1 production center
  • Livelihood generation of nearly 2 lakh through exhibitions.

5. SEWA YUVA JYOTI

Sewa Yuva Jyoti equips rural youth with digital literacy programs, laying special focus on personality development, soft skills and generating means of livelihood for local youths.

Our Initiatives

  • 10 computer training centres are in operation.
  • Over 1000 youth have been trained in basic computer course.
  • Akshar Bharti Vachanalaya is being operated at all the 9 Centres.
  • Chandrapuri and Padli centres to be developed as model PM Kaushal Kendra.
  • Regular exposures and advance capacity building of the trainers

6. SEWA SAAHAS

This initiative aims to developing lesser known tourist destinations, creating livelihood means through tourism related activities & disaster management.

Our Initiatives

  • Over 350 youth-oriented in tourism and mountaineering
  • 3 villages have been identified for the development of tourist villages
  • Bringing technical partners like NIM, HAI etc into the system
  • 3 Saahas Samooh (Youth Club) has been formed to generate sustainable livelihood.
  • Disaster management trainings and exposure visits

6.SWASTHYA SAHYOGI SEWA

This initiative is focused on building a healthy & hygienic society for the local community where health issues can be easily addressed locally & the larger aim is to generate employable skill in the health sector.

 

Our Initiatives

  • Awareness camps on over 50 villages
  • Training in basic health, sanitation and First to ASHA workers of 25 villages
  • First Aid kit distribution in 25 villages
  • 19 Kishori Samooh (Adolescent group) have been formed with over 350 members.
  • Focus on adolescent, maternity and childcare
  • Initiation of activities like Mobile Medical Units
  • Free Optometry and Dental camps on 11 schools with nearly 3000 students being screened.

 

7. SEWA SRUJAN

 

The aim of Sewa Srujan is Community Mobilization and Self Help Group (SHG) formation along with generating the roadmap of livelihood activities & institution building for various activities.

Our Initiatives

  • Over 1188 women actively associated with 105 SHGs
  • A total saving of Rs. 3,58,780 till March, 2017
  • Regular activities in nearly 55 villages
  • Preparation of value chain systems
  • Preparation for exhibitions in Food processing and Non-farm sector with sell of over

           Rs 2,50,000

  • Activities related to the Farmers Producer Organization

8. HIMSAMPADA

HimSampada is a production based organization facilitated by Sewa International which would help the beneficiaries get quality, accessible markets and facilities so that the idea of creating a self-sustainable society could become a reality. The overall project would include programs in Rudraprayag & Chamoli. Each village would have 2 – 3 SHGs. Out of 15 clusters, we are actively working in 5 namely Narayankoti, Chandrapuri, Pokhari, Simli, Tapovan. We are also working with 50 Gram Panchayats, 10 per cluster.

 

9. PRADHAN MANTRA KAUSHAL KENDRA

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra is a Ministry of Skill development initiative inspired by PM Modi’s Vision of Skill India. It is a project being run under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), driven by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) with active support from Sector Skill Councils (SSC).

 

Our Initiatives

  • Establishment of Nodal Skill development centers in 7 districts of Garhwal cluster
  • Imparting employable skill training to over 5000 youth in region per year
  • Sectors – Agriculture, IT/ITES, Food Processing, Healthcare, Tourism, Electronics & Hardware, Beauty & Wellness, Handicraft and Tailoring.
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employability

 

The Fruit Of Perseverance – Outcomes

  • Community-based organizations, SHG’s, youth groups and other local organizations have been promoted and strengthened and are able to participate in the planning, implementation and monitoring of local self-governance activities.
  • Poor families have been able to secure access to their land and other natural resources, resulting in greater livelihood security.  
  • Farming capacity and capabilities have been enhanced & agricultural productivity has improved.
  • Government delivery of services specific to agriculture to these villages has improved as a result of greater demands from the target groups.  
  • Greater involvement and participation of minorities and women in local self-governance.  
  • As a direct result of community mobilization and pressure agricultural services have substantially improved in the project area.  
  • Women raising their voices for their rights and entitlements has proved as a vital stepping stone towards women’s empowerment in the region.