Ensuring food security for the natural resource dependent marginal households in India

A flagship program of DOLPHIN FOUNDATION

Title of the Project :   Ensure food security for 500 households in India


          Livelihoods of the rural poor in India has always been continuously at stake despite of all the efforts made by government even after 66 years of independence of the nation. This is especially true for northeastern states of the country because of many reasons – difficult terrain, diverse ethnic groups with their complex socio-political situations, lack of political will and sincerity among the government agencies. All these has been forcing the poor communities to depend more on the natural resources to earn their livelihoods and this has been the main cause of depletion of the forest resources threatening the rich biodiversity of the region. The northeastern region of India has got a special place in the world map for its rich biodiversity, a home of many globally important and endangered species. Hence it is considered as biodiversity hotspot and comes under the Eastern Himalaya Eco-region complex. The region has many important protected areas for conservation of its rich heritage of biodiversity especially, many important endangered and endemic species. These include National Parks, Sanctuaries, protected wetlands etc. Most of these protected areas are situated in remote underdeveloped locations. 





 The indigenous communities living around these protected areas are considered as the most socio-economically deprived groups in India who do not enjoy mere food security. Their livelihoods are badly affected by recurring flood, crop depredation by wild animals besides restrictions on forest biomass extraction due to inaction of Wildlife Protection Act. Before formation of protected areas the local people of the fringe areas used to earn their livelihoods by extracting biomass from the forest. But, all these livelihood rights were curtailed after declaration of the protected areas.



         Dolphin Foundation has been working for the socioeconomic development of the people living in the fringe of the forest protected forest areas of the region for last 22 years. The organization has made strategic approaches to improve the socio-economic condition of these communities by awareness & motivation, capacity building through an alternative sustainable livelihood generation program covering over 100 fringe villages located at the vicinity of these protected areas of Assam.






 Through this project Dolphin Foundation will replicate an innovative successful strategy to promote and scale up the sustainable traditional livelihoods for ensuring food security to the target communities of 500 households from these surveyed villages under three protected areas – Manas Tiger Reserve, Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary & Beepor Beel Bird Sanctuary in Assam(India). The illiterate destitute women of the communities are the worst sufferer as they bear the responsibility of their households. Project will strengthen these women to earn livelihoods

 The basic idea of the program is to scale up the sustainable traditional livelihoods practiced by the women folk of the target communities and bring them up to the commercially viable level. This will empower the womenfolk of the community and make them able to contribute to the family income and obtain food security from these livelihoods.

 Project Leader contact : 




Achievements of the Livelihood Program till date  

  • More than 100 villages located at the fringe of Protected Areas have been covered so far by the program.
  • Over 300 awareness and motivation drives have been organized till date.
  • Over 1100 people(women) were offered skill development training on various traditional livelihoods.
  • Eight livelihood training centers on different livelihoods have been developed.
  • 30 local CBOs from the project villages were strengthened to develop a local “third front” for livelihood promotion.
  • More than 20000 pamphlets on technical aspect of different Livelihoods have been printed and distributed.
  • Over 230 Self Help Groups(SHGs) were formed from the program beneficiaries so far.
  • Over 250 set of Fly Shuttle Handloom sets and Yarns were donated to the beneficiaries.
  • Over 500 beneficiaries have been provided with materials required for sericulture.
  • Over 500 beneficiaries were provided with Honey Bee culture equipments and materials(apiaries, honey extractors, protection nets etc).
  • 8 numbers of Livelihood promotional exhibitions have so far been organized.
  • More than 50 hectors of wasteland have so far been converted to Castor plant garden (Food plant for Eri Worm)  for sericulture development.
  • The beneficiary cooperatives & SHGs were facilitated to micro-finances under the government schemes.
  • Necessary market links have been established to help regular marketing of the products.
  • Over 700 beneficiary women have already started earning from these livelihoods and obtained food security.



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