Kudumbashree - National Resource Organisation
Kudumbashree – State Poverty Eradication Mission of Kerala was launched in 1998, with the objective to “eradicate absolute poverty through concerted community action under the leadership of local governments, by facilitating organization of the poor for combining self-help with demand-led convergence of available services and resources to tackle the multiple dimensions and manifestations of poverty, holistically”. The Malayalam term ‘Kudumbashree’ means 'prosperity of the family'.
Kudumbashree is a Community Based Organisation (CBO) of poor families, represented by a woman from the family. It is built as a three-tier structure. At the base are Neighbourhood Groups (NHG) that work on the principles of mutual affinity and benefit. The NHG are federated at the level of a Ward in the Local Government into Area Development Societies (ADS), and further into a Community Development Society (CDS) at the level of the Local Government. Today, the Kudumbashree network has membership of 4.07 million families, organized into 250,000 NHGs, 19,773 ADS, and 1072 CDS. Kudumbashree focuses its programs in three domains, economic empowerment, social empowerment and women' empowerment.
Kudumbashree was recognised as a National Resource Organisation (NRO) by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India, under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), to provide technical and implementation support to State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs), based on mutual interest.
Micro-enterprises promoted as part of various povery alleviation programmes face serious operational challenges, affecting their viability and effectiveness. One-time support for estabilishing micro-enterprises is not sufficient to enable the poor to build a sustainable livelihood. Kudumbashree has proved that micro-enterprises of the poor can be profitable and sustainable through its pioneering MEC model.
The PRI-CBO Convergence domain is built on the principle that an empowered community exercising its democratic rights through its empowered citizens will make panchayats conscious towards their constitutional roles and responsibilities. A conscious panchayat, in turn, gets empowered in the process of working along with a strong community network of the poor.Such linkage of the two could work best towards ensuring the livelihoods and social security of the poor.