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Darbar Sahitya Sansad

Active Partner

Location : Orissa

Partner Since : 04-02-2011

Founder : Mr. Bibhutibhusan Mohanty

About DSS

The history of Darabar Sahitya Sansad (DSS) dates back to early nineties. A group of adolescent boys used to flock around a rural library in village Nischintapur, reading books and magazines and discussing on literary development. Two consecutive floods during the year 1980 and 1982 devastated the area . The boys could not keep quiet, they helped the govt. machineries in evacuating the people as well as distributing the relief materials. This small taste of social work prompted them to come to a common platform 'a society' which could provide them the strength and the opportunity for youth work and social development. Finally a society was formed during 1982 with the name 'Darabar Sahitya Sansad' (DSS) - a people's court for social justice, on a platform of young and literary people.

Off late DSS has focussed on livelihood promotion for poor women, farmers and youth in coastal parts of Orissa. Besides that Disaster management has been another area of intervention in recent past since the coastal Orissa has experienced consequitive floods and cyclones.

DSS works in around 150 villages in 3 districts viz Khurda, Puri and Balasore focussing on Livelihood promotion and disaster management. The programmes like micro financing, SHG promotion, enterpreneurship development, training and capacity building, disaster relief, rehabilitation, disaster preparedness, weather education at school, promoting agro based women cooperatives, dairy cooperatives, handicraft cooperatives etc have been taken up in recent past.

Field Updates View All

Borrower Image
Dressed in a green salwar kameez, her head covered with her dupatta, Nurjan Bibi obligingly poses for a photograph outside her shop. Its dim interiors are lit with a single bulb that dangles over the counter.

It is behind this counter that Nurjan transacts her business for each day, serving customers their daily groceries.

The shop is no longer the rickety tin structure it used to be. A sturdy little wooden shed now stands in its place, with walls and shelves that have been painted blue. Sachets of shampoo and detergent powder hang from a string tied to the low-hanging rafters.

Biscuit packs, stationery, staples like dal, atta and oil are sparsely distributed on the shelves of the shop. But sales, in general, are regular and Nurjan needs to periodically restock her shop to keep her customers happy.

The 53-year-old has enjoyed a long association with Rang De and is a fourth-time borrower from Khorda, Orissa who has repaid all previous loans through her earnings from her business.

When we paid her visit during a yearly audit in November, Nurjan told us that the last loan had helped increase her monthly income from Rs.2000-Rs.3000. She and her husband, who minds the shop, sell around Rs.500 worth of goods every day, of which Rs.150 remains as profit.

Although the shop is doing fairly well at its present location, Nurjan would like to set up a bigger one closer to the market area where the volume of customers is higher, particularly during bazaar days. She hopes that Rang De and its community of social investors will extend more support so that she can expand her business.

At Rang De, stories like Nurjan’s encourage us to reach out to women in small villages across the country and support livelihoods that empower them.

Thank you for investing in Nurjan’s loan. If you would like to help other women from Orissa, please click on the link.

Evaluated By : Tanvi Negi

Borrower Image
In Orissa’s Khurda district, we visited one of two betel leaf farms that belong to Jharana Lenka, a resident of Dewanapatana village. Here, neat rows of vines climbed up thin sticks driven into the ground inside a rectangular hut-like structure called a bareja that serves as a makeshift greenhouse.

This structure helps maintain the right level of humidity as the plants are very sensitive to the slightest weather change. The betel leaves are harvested every week and sold at the market for Rs.1000-Rs.1500.

Jharana’s farms lie at one end of the village while her home is on the other side. The area is fertile and considered highly suitable for betel leaf cultivation.

Jharana tells us that constructing the outer frame of the farm can cost anywhere between Rs.25000-Rs.30000 while repairing it from time to time can run into several thousands. For small growers like Jharana and her husband, funds always fall short of the requirement.

But taking loans is not something that either of them is comfortable with. If they are badly in need of money, they borrow from family members to tide over difficult times. As betel leaf cultivation is a labour-intensive with high input costs, Jharana realised she needed a more reliable source of credit.

She found help through DSS, Darbar Sahitya Sansad, an NGO working in the region who introduced her to Rang De’s affordable microcredit. She was able to avail a small working capital loan to help sustain production at both her farms and maintain a steady income.

Before we left, Jharana mentioned that her home does not have a toilet and has expressed an interest in taking a sanitation loan in order to get one constructed.

We look forward to helping more women like Jharana Lenka undertake and sustain entrepreneurial activity in an affordable manner.

Thank you for investing in Jharana’s loan. If you would like to help other women from Orissa, please click on the link.

Evaluated By : Tanvi Negi

Partnership Summary

Total No. of Loans 3308
Total amount disbursed Rs.39,641,600
Expected repayment so far Rs.33,415,760
Amount repaid Rs.33,380,258
Amount delayed Rs.0
Amount defaulted Rs.35,502

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