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Ultra Poor Programme

While microfinance works well for the upper poor and poor sections of society, the ultra poor sections of society need much more than finances. Swayam Krishi Sangam, the NGO arm of SKS Microfinance works alongside the ultra poor to restore hope, dignity and broaden their opportunities.

The Ultra Poor Graduation Pilot is the flagship programme of SKS NGO. Facilitated by CGAP - Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (housed at the World Bank), and modelled after the highly-successful BRAC Ultra Poor Programme of Bangladesh. SKS has adapted the programme to India’s socio-economic development environment and policies. SKS endeavours to create a standard, scalable and replicable Ultra Poor Graduation Model that blends research, innovation and technology.

The SKS Ultra Poor Programme addresses the challenge of extreme poverty in its three manifestations, economic, social and health, and aims to graduate ultra poor clients to a point where their growth is self-sustainable. An intensive 18-month programme helps enhance the awareness levels about government resources, social issues and health care, and creates stable livelihoods. Upon graduation, many members may choose to join microfinance organisations or government sponsored SHG (Self Help Group) Bank linkage programme to sustain livelihoods and diversify into new opportunities.

SKS scientifically targets the extreme poor at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid through participatory poverty identification tools. The logic is to re-connect the extreme poor to quality living and lost opportunities in livelihoods. The core value of our work is that no eligible ultra poor person is left out of the process.

Our 18-month graduation pilot in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh has created a positive impact among 426 ultra poor women have graduated into mainstream economic activities. In the next phase, the Ultra Poor Programme is being planned in some of the poorest districts of Orissa and Jharkhand.

» Help to graduate an Ultra Poor family

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