Chaitanya NGO(Chaitanya Rural Women and Children Welfare Society) is registered as a Society under the Karnataka Society’s Act. Chaitanya NGO was started in May 2004 by Ramesh Paineedi, a school teacher in Nayakanahatti village, Chitradurga district.
Since inception, Chaitanya NGO’s work has been focused on
In the rural economic development space, Chaitanya has focused on
Micro credit services was carried out in three villages and loans of Rs. 30 lakhs was disbursed over 2 years.
For promoting rural entrepreneurship, it worked closely with Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF- aUS non profit, registered as a section 25 company in India ). Working with S3IDF, Chaitanya successfully implemented over thirty projects in the small scale infrastructure space (for a description of some of the projects -http://s3idfprojects.blogspot.com/ ). Projects done for S3IDF included identifying, conceptualizing, starting up, handholding and monitoring small enterprises in the areas of solar lighting, milk transportation, rural transportation, information technology, telecommunications, food industry and household cooking.
In the children’s education area, Chaitanya focused on
Since 2005, Chaitanya has been running 13 after school centers in as many villages in Chitradurga district through funding from Asha for Education (http://ashanet.org/projects/project-view.php?p=657 .
Chaitanya also provided computer education to rural children through a computer center at Nayakanahatti and running computer labs at three rural schools (Kondlahalli Rural High School , Talaku Primary School and Challakere High School ). For the computer education program, Chaitanya had a tie up with Singapore International Foundation, an international NGO, through whom volunteers came from Singapore and imparted computer education to children.
After working for four years on various initiatives mentioned above, based on Chaitanya’s strengths and the opportunities available, Chaitanya has decided to refocus its efforts. One focus area is microfinance, which is being done through a separate legal entity. The other focus areas, Chaitanya is looking to focus on are:
Financial inclusion is the availability of banking services at an affordable cost to disadvantaged and low-income households. With only around 34 percent of India’s population engaged in formal banking, around 135 million households in India are financially excluded. Provision of microcredit to low income households only partially addresses the problem of financial exclusion. Households still need other financial services - savings, insurance, money transfers. Creative business models supported by government initiatives and regulatory reforms are expected to address this issue in the coming years. Technology, especially mobile phones will play a key role in addressing the last mile of financial inclusion. Promoting financial inclusion in geographic areas where Chaitanya Microfinance is working is one of the activities Chaitanya NGO will be looking into.
Employability, Skills and Entrepreneurship Training:
Unemployment among the youth coming from disadvantaged and low-income households is a big problem in India. However, with India’s favorable growth rate in the coming years, there is an opportunity to address this problem. Within this larger problem, Chaitanya initially wants to focus on two areas. One is the lack of employable skills among the youth inspite of their educational qualifications. Employers today want entry level employees to possess basic functional and communication skills, which puts youth coming from low income households at a disadvantage. A training program to bridge this gap for such youngsters will help them get employment.
The second problem is lack of skills among the uneducated youth to start or even be employed in enterprises in demand in their own communities, such as metal welding, mobile repair, automobile repairs etc. This would require skills training and entrepreneurship training.