Despite being the largest state in India, Rajasthan lags behind other states on many development indicators. Its hostile climatic conditions, arid terrains, weak infrastructural facilities and frequent droughts have impeded efforts for development.
In March 2003, Tata Trusts launched the Sakh Se Vikas programme in Rajasthan to promote self-sustaining community-based microfinance initiatives to strengthen livelihoods and reduce the vulnerability of marginalised people. It helps rural communities avail of financial support at reduced interest rates, setting them free from the tyranny of money lenders. The programme has wrought social change by increasing the involvement of women in decision-making processes.
The overarching goal is to usher in a better tomorrow for the rural community. Consequently, the programme now also targets areas such as agriculture and livestock, drinking water and sanitation, health and nutrition, and education in 70,000 tribal households across villages in five blocks of south Rajasthan.
The nodal agency for the implementation of all the Trusts' projects under Sakh Se Vikas is the Centre for micro Finance (CmF).