PRADAN is a voluntary organization registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. PRADAN was founded on the belief that individuals with knowledge resources and empathy towards the marginalized must work with poor people if mass poverty is to be removed proactively. PRADAN's works in an “area saturation” approach, attempting to reach out to most poor people in the geographical area of operation of a project team around four broad themes of engagement – expanding livelihood opportunities, work on rights and entitlements, access to basic services for poor people and getting caring and capable people on board to do so at an expanding rate. PRADAN professionals, divided into 60 teams, work with over 3 lakh families in 4,138 villages across eight of the poorest states in the country to stimulate and support these poorer households to dream for a better future and stimulate their sense of agency.
In PRADAN the primary units of social mobilization at the grassroots are SHGs. PRADAN consider SHGs as foundation to assist community especially woman in her movement towards sustainable livelihoods and well-being in a way that she takes charge of her own development. A SHG1 begins as a thrift and credit association of poor women with similar social and existential contexts.
PRADAN works with the community to develop sustainable sources of livelihoods. The activities have evolved over the year and vary across different locations and states. The broad categories of our livelihood intervention are:
PRADAN assists SHG member families to take up one or several of these streams, so that each family would eventually be able to generate additional income equivalent to 200 days' local peak wages. PRADAN organizes exposure and training programmes, trains community based service providers (such as pump operators, suppliers of critical inputs and services, etc.) selected by the SHGs, promotes producer organisations2 where necessary, develops service linkages and leverages missing infrastructure from public agencies.
PRADAN has been involved in Tasar sericulture for over two and a half decades with the objective to create sustainable livelihoods for marginalized communities. PRADAN has worked on all the components of Tasar silk value chain - raising host tree plantations, strengthening seed sector, promoting improved practices for silkworm rearing, processing of cocoons into yarns, weaving fabric and creating alternative marketing channels for Tasar commodities. PRADAN has also designed appropriate organization and management systems best suited to local context and built robust linkages with major players in the sector like Central Silk Board and its affiliates. The overall initiative has so far directly benefited more than 15,000 families by ways of creating sustainable income opportunities and access to productive assets and many more by way of its technology development, sectoral strengthening efforts like for the first time establishment of Tasar egg production enterprises and private Tasar host plantations.
The significant achievements of PRADAN in Tasar sericulture in recent years could be summarized as per the following: