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Organisational Understanding

By Arpit Shah (30006) Burra Naga Trinadh (30021)

Submitted to

Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP)

Organisational Traineeship Segment PRM 2009-2011

Faculty Guide: Prof. Anand Venkatesh

July, 2010 INSTITUTE OR RURAL MANAGEMENT ANAND

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We wish to thank SERP (Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty) for giving us this opportunity to work with them and for providing us all the needed support. We would like to thank Mr. B. Rajsekhar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for this. We would like to mention the efforts of my reporting officer, Mrs. B. Seshu Kumari who was always there to lend a helping hand, was open to all suggestions, and provided valuable guidance and useful insights which helped us in the preparation of the report.

We take this opportunity to convey our sincere thanks to all SERP staff. Our special thanks to Mr. T. Aravind and Mr. Sandeepan Paul for guiding us throughout the study and provided their invaluable support and inputs in the project. Their support made our stay a memorable and educative one. Also extend our gratitude to the SERP staff during the field visits and villagers for their warm reception and help they provided us in making understanding of present dynamics and identify shortcomings in the study. We also thank the various respondents who spared their valuable time and contributed to survey.

The Organization Traineeship Segment of IRMA was a great learning experience for us. Last but not the least; We are grateful to faculty guide Prof. Anand Venkatesh and OTS Co-ordinator Prof. Ashokan for giving this opportunity. We also thank all the faculty members who provided encouragement and support in this venture.

ARPIT SHAH(30006) BURRA NAGA TRINADH(30021)

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I. II. III. IV. V. Title: Organisation Understanding Organization: Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Reporting Officer: Mrs. B. Seshukumari, RPD Education Faculty Guide: Prof. Anand Venkatesan Student’s Name: Arpit H. Shah, Naga Trinadh B., Sindhura A.

Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) is an autonomous society of the Department of Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh. SERP is registered under the Societies (Telangana) Act, chaired by the Chief Minister as the ex-officio Chairman of the General Body (GB). SERP is implementing Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) in all the 22 rural districts of A.P. There are 1,06,75,321 members in 9,49,066 SHGs exclusively for women. A total of 36,391 Village Organizations (VOs), 1099 Mandal Samakhyas (MSs) and 22 Zilla Samakhyas have come into existence in 22 districts. The objective of this report was to understand the dynamics of SERP as a multi faceted organization active in various functional areas like education, health & nutrition, land, marketing, finance, dairy, disability, gender, insurance, disability etc.; its structure, functioning of activities, its strategies, its relevance and relationship with stakeholders, clients, external influences, strengths, weaknesses and achievements. Methodology: A multi step approach had been taken by us as the methodology to understand the organization. At first we had tried to understand the various work processes in the organization to gather facts about the operations. We also had interacted with the employees, VO, MS & ZS members and various other beneficiaries of SERP schemes to gather information about the functioning of the organization. We also visited the Self help groups (SHG‟s) of SERP to get a ground reality of the organization. Then we had compiled the data using various frameworks and structures to bring about a clear understanding of the organization. Both primary and secondary sources were used to obtain information. Limitations: The large organisation with activities in as many as 18 diverse fields, different management, different functioning and different dynamics of all the fields made the study a highly insurmountable task. Short tenure of project as well as the complexities in the working of organisation which was spread right from the office at Hyderabad up to majority of villages of Andhra Pradesh, posed many difficulties in study of the organisation. Major Findings: SERP had a very low level of documentation and no clear-cut policies on Human Resources and related matters and had a relatively flat organizational structure with diverse functional departments and multiple roles played by single individual resulted in clash of roles and responsibilities between various departments as well as within department. Many employees were unclear of their roles in the organization. Recommendations: SERP would have to go for an in depth study of their organization and improve the formalization. The roles of all the employees‟ right from the Head office to the district offices, ZS, MS, VO and other field staff should be clarified and standardized.

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Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 1 Objective of the study ..................................................................................................................... 1 Methodology................................................................................................................................... 2 Organisation .................................................................................................................................... 2 SERP Structure ................................................................................................................................ 4 SERP activities: ................................................................................................................................ 7 6.1. 6.1.1. 6.1.2. 6.1.3. 6.1.4. 6.2. 6.3. 6.4. 6.5. 6.6. 6.7. 6.8. 7. Institution Building:................................................................................................................. 7 Self Help Groups (SHGs) ...................................................................................................... 7 Village Organizations (VOs) ................................................................................................. 9 Mandal Samakhyas (MSs) ................................................................................................. 10 Zilla samikya ...................................................................................................................... 11 Sustainable Agriculture: ........................................................................................................ 14 Dairy: ..................................................................................................................................... 14 Marketing: ............................................................................................................................. 14 Creating jobs for youth: ........................................................................................................ 15 Land:...................................................................................................................................... 16 Health and Nutrition: ............................................................................................................ 16 Gender: ................................................................................................................................. 16

Education ...................................................................................................................................... 17 7.1. Impacts- Qualitative and Quantitative:...................................................................................... 18 7.2. Leveraging Resources: ............................................................................................................... 20 7.1. 7.2. 7.3. 7.4. 7.5. 7.6. Scaling up: ............................................................................................................................. 20 Performance Indicators: ....................................................................................................... 21 ECE Centres: .......................................................................................................................... 22 Mainstream school dropout: ................................................................................................ 23 Higher education:.................................................................................................................. 24 Corporate education: ............................................................................................................ 25

8. 9. 10.

HR Unit in SPMU ........................................................................................................................... 26 Convergence with Key Line Departments ..................................................................................... 27 Reflections................................................................................................................................. 28

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1. Introduction Every organization, like a living organism is a living entity. It gets born, struggles to walk, experiments, moves through several ups and down, matures and finally dies. However they are dominant components of the contemporary society and pervade all aspects of contemporary life-society as whole, the economy, and even our personal lives. A clear understanding about the importance of the organizations would help us to experience the pragmatic reality of an organization. We headed to our OTS organization, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (hereafter referred to as SERP) keeping this in mind.

SERP is more like a time bound autonomous programme launched by the Ministy of Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Due to its vast stature, activity in more than 18 functional fields, spread over the remotest districts and mandals and villages of Andhra Pradesh; organisation study of SERP was a herculean task. This study helped us to understand the applications of various functions like Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Economics in a real organization especially when diverse stakeholders including government, public and private are intricately involved. It also enabled us to prepare

ourselves to face the real life challenges when we join an organization.

2. Objective of the study The study on the organization was mainly focused on getting an insight about the organization and analyzes its different dimensions on various aspects. Following are the major points we emphasized while conducting the study –       To have a rational understanding of what an organization is all about. To understand the dynamics that comes into play at various levels in the organization. To know its activities, its strengths and weaknesses. To understand how an organization comes into existence, how it grows, adapts and absorbs changes and sustains itself. To understand the interface between the organization and its external environment. To understand the perspectives and ethos of individuals as it exists in the organization.

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3. Methodology We started collecting data for Organization Understanding (OU) after we had developed operational linkages with all major departments and sections of the organization. For this, we first developed a good relation with our reporting officer (RPD, Education of SERP) who introduced us to the various aspects of the organization and its functioning. She also introduced us to various departments of the organization. We also visited block offices and the Self Help Groups of the organization to gain a better knowledge about its operations. Our main source of understanding was the 5 day immersion programme that they sent us at the beginning of OTS. This helped us to get acquainted with the entire structure and functioning of SERP. From our talks with the CEO and other strategic level employees like RPD‟s of various departments, we got an idea about the challenges the organization normally has to deal with regarding its operations. After we had developed sufficiently good rapport with the employees, we started to gain more insights of the organization through unstructured interviews and informal discussions.

We resorted to silent observations to assess the working conditions, attitude towards work, group behavior and on-the job behavior of employees and to assess various parameters for understanding organization culture. We also had focused group discussions with the employees to triangulate information given by employees from different locations and also to understand aspects like culture in depth. We also collected information from the organizational documents like annual reports, Audit reports, Project reports and also internet.

As our OAC mainly dealt with Education, we have made an in depth analysis of Education department at SERP.

4. Organisation Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) is implementing Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) in all the 22 rural districts of A.P.

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Vision: The disadvantaged communities shall be empowered to overcome all social, economic, cultural and psychological barriers through self-managed organizations. They will attain higher productivity with improved skills and asset base and utilize resources to full potential and gainful access to services. Mission: Our missions is to enable the disadvantaged communities perceive possibilities for change and bring about desired change by exercising informed choices through collective action. The main objective of Indira Kranthi Patham(IKP) is to enable all the rural poor families in 22 rural districts of Andhra Pradesh to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. All households below the poverty line, starting from the poorest of the poor are the target group of IKP. At present the focus of the project on the poorest and more vulnerable members of rural communities (e.g., disabled people, landless poor). Convergence of Land, CMSA, Dairy, Health, Education, Nutrition are designed to overcome poverty. Project emphasis is on livelihood issues of the poor, poorest of the poor, with a focus on sustainable rainfed farming systems, value addition to agriculture produce, job creation and non-farm employment opportunities, and to reduce the risks faced by the poor through social safety nets and entitlements.

The Govt. of Andhra Pradesh is implementing two large community demand driven poverty reduction projects – the A. P. District Poverty Initiatives Project (A.P.D.P.I.P) and the A. P. Rural Poverty Reduction Project (A.P.R.P.R.P). The main objective of the twin projects is to enable the rural poor in the state, particularly the poorest of the poor, to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. The two projects cover all the districts and focus on rural poor families in the State. The A.P.D.P.I.P covering 316 mandals in 6 districts was launched on June 14, 2000. The project duration was up to December 2006. The A.P.R.P.R.P project that commenced on June 1, 2002 was to cover 548 backward mandals in 16 districts of the State and was estimated to cover 20,00,000 families. In the year 2005 the state government decided to extend the same approach to all the rural areas of the state and leverage the programme with funds from ongoing programmes. Thus for the entire state, there is now a single programme, called “Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP)”, based on social mobilization and empowerment of rural poor. This programme subsumes all activities under the twin projects and the state government funding for women‟s groups.

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Every effort is being made to make the institutions of the poor, promoted by the project, financially and managerially self sustainable. The institutions at the grassroots are Self Help Groups (SHGs) of poor women varying between 10 and 15. These groups are federated at village level called Village Organization (VO).The VOs are federated at mandal level called Mandal Samakhya (MS) and similarly the MSs are federated at the district level called Zilla Samakhya (ZS).

5. SERP Structure

Executive Council: 5 members, M-RD as President, other members: Secy, RD, Commissioner, RD, Commissioner – TW, CEO-S.E.R.P (Member-Secretary) State Project Management Unit: C.E.O, Addl.C.E.O, subject specialists – institution building, tribal development, microfinance, insurance, pensions, sustainable agriculture, dairying, jobs, non-farm livelihoods, construction, gender, health and nutrition, disability, and education. District Project Management : Headed by P.D, DRDA, Addl.P.Ds and Subject specialists ( 12 – 15). Area Coordinators – 10 – 12 per district – each responsible for 5 - 6 mandals. Supported by 3 master trainers in accounting Mandal Coordinators – 1 per mandal ( 50 in a district), supported by 2 master trainers for accounting In addition subject specialists in agriculture, dairying, health, disability, agriculture marketing, etc in programme mandals P.D, DRDA is on deputation to S.E.R.P. He has no other responsibility other than women empowerment. Separate officers for NREGA, Watersheds, Rural Housing, and, Drinking water In A.P, no other department organises S.H.Gs. It is the exclusive responsibility of RD Department. All departments collaborate with RD department in linking their programmes to the S.H.G members.

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6. SERP activities: 6.1. Institution Building: The principal objective of SERP is to promote Self Managed Institutions of the Poor through Self Help Group across the state of Andhra Pradesh. The key functions of the CBOs promoted by SERP are financial intermediation, social intermediation and community development through sustainable livelihoods promotion. SERP strongly believes in the assumption that the poor have the potential to come out of poverty, provided that timely facilitation is ensured by the Government. In order to harness the potential, the poor are organized to form Community Based Organizations from village level to district level. The process of institution building has it that at village level all the poor women are formed into SHGs, all the SHGs are incorporated under Andhra Pradesh Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies Act 1995 as ―Village Organizations (VO), all the Village Organizations are federated under the same Act as Mandal Samakhyas (MS) at Mandal (Block) level and all the Mandal Samakhya are further confederated at District level as Zilla Samakhyas (ZS). Village Organizations are the front line self-managed CBOs for the economic and social betterment of the community. All the development activities of SERP are carried out in and around the CBOs.

Institution Building component is the building block of the project. To strengthen the four tier structure viz., SHGs, VOs, MSs and ZSs, SERP has adopted various strategies viz., capacity building of CBOs through CRPs, transferring funds and delegation of powers to CBOs for designing and implementation of various activities, Registration of CBOs, development of Community Auditors and Total Financial Inclusion etc. As a part of the POP (Poorest of the Poor) strategy the goal that was set in the department of IB is that: By the end 2012 all Mandal Samakhyas and Village Organizations that are promoted by the project will become self-reliant and self-managed institutions and provide a wide range of micro-finance products and social developmental services effectively to their members on a timely basis for securing sustainable livelihoods and improving their quality of life.

6.1.1. Self Help Groups (SHGs)

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It is here, at the SHG level, much of the action that happens has direct impact on the member. SHGs are the grassroots institutions of the poor performing similar roles to that of a rural bank branch in providing opportunities for their members in saving regularly, utilizing these savings for internal lending, borrowing from local banks and Village organizations for onlending to their members, recovering their loans and repayment to lenders and recording these transactions on an ongoing basis. For all practical purposes it is a mini bank for its members. Quite often, these financial services are available to members only once in a month when SHG convenes a meeting. However, in order to make these services available to members more frequently and also for strengthening these institutions, it is being recommended weekly meetings. Quite a few SHGs have voluntarily switched over to weekly meetings.

Pancha Sutras (5 cardinal principles):SHGs across the state are adapting to the following five principles apart from many other best practices: Regular weekly meetings, Regular weekly savings, Regular Internal lending, Regular repayments, Proper bookkeeping through trained bookkeeper. Pancha sutras are strictly followed in the villages where CRPs are positioned. This also has a tremendous demonstration effect on neighbouring villages.

Microcredit Planning (MCP): All SHGs are encouraged to prepare MCPs for accessing credit from banks and their VOs. MCP at SHG level is the list of activities that members would like to take up and the cost of implementing these activities. It is an integral part of the financial management process of SHG. Members do self assessment of their SHG based on regularity in savings and internal lending of funds, book keeping, and regular meetings before further planning. As such it is an active microfinance process that seeks to seamlessly integrate social mobilization / institution building processes with that of livelihood enhancement at individual or community levels. Quite a few CRPs are exclusively trained in the preparation of MCPs in all the districts. Also, all CRPs are imparted with these skills. MCP is a seven step process involving: Household Investment Plan, Understanding the socioeconomic status and needs by members, Appraisal of socio-economic status and wealth ranking by members, Appraisal of Needs by members, Consolidation of needs and setting priorities, Financing the investments and Evolving terms of Partnership.

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Community Resource Persons (CRPs): CRPs are being effectively utilised for implementation of Pancha Sutras and internalize the process of MCP among CBOs. The CRP strategy is a community to community driven learning approach. A major skill that is required for the mobilization of the poor and revival of defunct groups is conflict resolution and tact, and it is realized by the project that this is best done by peers rather than an outsider. To facilitate such process it is proposed that active members from the SHGs, Village Organizations (VOs) and Mandal Samakhyas (MSs) should be selected, trained and deployed so that the impact would be high when women of the same background shared their experiences. (Refer CRP Manual)

6.1.2. Village Organizations (VOs) VOs have switched over to fortnightly meetings from monthly meetings. Guidelines on meeting process have been issued and ensured that they are followed across the state. Various functional committees are constituted for ensuring bank linkages, recovery, social audit, marketing and food security. Majority of the VOs are registered as societies under MACS act. SERP has developed bylaws to ensure proper representation of the poor and marginalized sections of the society. VOs are getting masanivedikas (monthly reports) from their member SHGs. VOs are getting loans from their MSs for on-lending to SHGs and for implementing food security and marketing initiatives. This has facilitated VOs in making part payments towards their staff costs. VOs are getting audited every year by external auditors. Auditors in

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all

the

districts

are

positioned.

6.1.3. Mandal Samakhyas (MSs) MSs have switched over to fortnightly meetings from monthly meetings. Guidelines on meeting process have been issued and ensured that they are followed across the state. Various functional committees are constituted for ensuring bank linkages, recovery, social audit, marketing and food security. Majority of the MSs are registered as societies under MACS act. SERP has developed bylaws to ensure proper representation of the poor and marginalized sections of the society. MSs are getting masanivedikas (monthly reports) from their member VOs. MS accountants are positioned in all the MSs and are trained. AWFP is prepared with active involvement of MSs. Prior to the AWFP, MSs have collected the information about all the SHGs and VOs in the mandal and as well as MS itself in the specially designed comprehensive format. This information has been used to diagnose the gaps and to take steps to address these gaps. Community Based Recovery Mechanism (CBRM) is being very effective in all the Mandals. Most of the CIF and the SGSY funds are getting capitalized at MS level, which are being used for lending to VOs for their on-lending to SHGs, marketing and food security initiatives. Majority of the MSs are lending to VOs @ 6% Per Annum and
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the interest so earned has helped in achieving Financial Self Sustainability of MSs ranging between 25% and 125%. All the MSs are getting audited by external auditors annually. In addition to this a few MSs have started monthly concurrent audits. All the MSs have been instructed to transact their business through cheques only. They have been advised to stop cash transaction as far as possible. Senior CRP strategy is being worked out to enhance the managerial capacity of the MSs. The piloting done to find the effectiveness of this strategy is found to be extremely good.

6.1.4. Zilla samikya ZS will be registered as a confederation of Mandal samikya‟s under APMAC‟s Act 1995. All the mandals in the particular district come together in the ZS.The structure of ZS is similar to that of MS. It has a general body and ZS executive committee. For the Executive committee, two people from each mandal would be represented. Functional committees act in the same manner as in MS.The various functional committees in ZS are for MS monitoring, Bank linkage, asset verification, dealing with social issues and NREGS monitoring. As the ZS forms the head organization at the district level, all the monitoring and verification tasks are performed here.

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Key Achievements in Institution Building as on March 2009
S.No. Particulars 1 No. of members in women SHGs 13 Number 10182181

2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

No. of SHGs formed No. of VOs formed No. of MSs formed No. of Registration CRPs trained No. of VOs trained on APMACSs Act No. of MSs trained on APMACSs Act No. of ZSs trained on APMACSs Act No. of Community Auditing CRPs trained No. of mandals covered under Community Auditing CRPs strategy No. of Villages covered under TFI CRP strategy No. of TOT CRPs trained No. of Bank Mithras trained

8,50,671 35,525 1099 450 703 878 22 104 135 4758 76 3323

6.2. Sustainable Agriculture: The ecological alternatives in agriculture which make best use of local resources have proven to shift the tide in favor of farmers. One such experience is the Non- Pesticidal Management (NPM) of insect pests. Considering the serious problems associated with use of chemical pesticides and also the huge investment costs for small and marginal farmers, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Indira Kranti Padam, (IKP) decided to upscale the NPM into wider regions through the Federation of Women Self Help groups (Mandal Samakhyas).The experiences of involving women SHGs, Mandal Samakhyas has been proven successful. During 2008-09, the project covered about 13.81 lakh acres with 3.18 lakh farmers across 3171 villages in 18 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Currently the project is expanded to 21 districts , covering about 20 lakh acres. 6.3. Dairy:
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) has initiated Dairy Development activity in 2006-07 by Piloting in 2 mandals. Experiences learnt through Pilot are being mainstreamed from 2007-08 in convergence with APDDCF Ltd. Activity started with Milk Procurement initiative at village level from where milk is transported to Bulk Milk Cooling Unit (BMCU) located at mandal level. Once Samakhyas gained experience in milk procurement and they started taking initiatives for establishment and improvement of backward linkages such as fodder, feed, animal health services, etc. SERP, in convergence with APDDCF has taken forward the activity to 158 mandals in the State covering 2806 villages.

6.4. Marketing:

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The Marketing Strategy of the Project is to enable the rural poor to identify all available possible livelihoods and tap the available resources i.e Forest produce, Agricultural Commodities and all traditional livelihoods practiced in the villages with an objective to increase incomes of the Pop families & improve the quality of life. Pass on remunerative prices to the small and marginal farmers and NTFP collectors at their door step. The goal of the marketing division is as: “Every VO should work as a Mini Market Yard and every farmer and NTFP collector should receive remunerative prices to their produce at their door steps & not to carry their produce beyond 5 Kms.” With this

objective the project commenced its marketing activity by identifying one commodity viz., Neem, one mandal viz., Kosigi, Mahabubnagar district during the year 2001-2002. By seeing the encouraging response from the community and need to expand marketing activities in all the districts, special efforts have been made to identify the commodities, opening the more and more procurement centres, imparted training to the VO members, Field / Project staff, Book keepers provided required infrastructure to all the procurement centres. During the past 9 years the important commodities like Paddy, Maize, Redgram, Soybean, Lac, Neem fruit, Castor, Groundnut, Mohwa flower, Tamarind, Nelavemu and other commodities have been handled by VOs in bulk.During 2009-10 a detailed tentative action plan has been prepared for procurement of over 95, 37,892 quintals of different commodities valued around Rs.924 Crores.

6.5.Creating jobs for youth:
The Jobs Mission was set up to address the needs of the next generation of the large network of SHGs created and nurtured by IKP. Employment Generation and Marketing Mission (EGMM), Department of Rural Development, Govt. of AP works in a focused manner to provide employment/ employability for the rural youth. These are the economically and socially underprivileged rural poor from remote areas. The executive committee of the mission consists of Hon‟ble Minister, Rural

Development , senior government officers and the private sector . EGMM is driven by a private sector cell, which evolves strategy with an eye on the market. Implementation of the program is done with the large government machinery headed by Collectors, Project Directors, District Rural Development Agency (DRDAs) and PO, Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDAs) in all 22 districts. The EGMM works in scale in publicprivate partnership mode with the main stakeholders being the government, private sector, and the women self help groups. The entire approach is a bottom-up approach, tailored to move the rural poor from the unorganized to the organized labour market.
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6.6.Land:
Land represents a fundamental asset to the rural families in our country which comprise a substantial majority of the population. It is a primary source of income, security, and status. Land is one asset which almost every rural man or woman relates to. In the rural areas all the socioeconomic privileges and deprivations revolve round land.Recognizing land as a critical resource

for the poor during the formulation of Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project, the Land Component in Indira Kranthi Patham was sanctioned with an outlay of Rs.52.6 crore rupees.The Land Component of IKP has been working in two directions. One is Land Purchase i.e. securing the poor access to productive lands through facilitating purchase of good quality irrigated lands and the other is Land Access- facilitating the poor, in convergence with the Revenue Department, to have control over their lands in terms of having secure title, handling their lands locked in courts/disputes, awareness as to the measures taken by the Government to protect the interests of the poor manifested in the form of pro-poor enactments etc. The activities in land are Land inventory,Land access, Land purchase and Land development. 6.7.Health and Nutrition: In order to target the poor health status among the rural community, community driven health care interventions were established in AP as part of Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) project. Health and Nutrition interventions (HN) is being implemented in 63 pilot Mandals across all of 22 districts in AP. The HN package of interventions targets health and nutritional status at each phase of the life cycle approach. Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) is the largest communitybased rural poverty reduction project in Southeast Asia, involving 9,646,000 self-help group (SHG) women throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh, India federated at village as Village Organizations (VO), Mandal as Mandal Mahila Samakhya (MMS) and district as Zilla Samakhya (ZS). IKP targets multi-dimensional causes of Poverty through programs in Microfinance, Education, Gender, Land Purchase and Sustainable Agriculture, Insurance and Marketing among others. 6.8.Gender: Gender is one of the components included in the programme, Indira Kranthi Patham. Gender strategy helps SHG women to monitor their social empowerment agenda along with financial agenda, increase their capacities in decision making at different levels, free mobility, having a
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say in local governance and building a safe environment. Women in groups ensure that basic rights of all SHG women are not violated and that they create support systems like Social Action Committees in every village and Community Managed Family Counseling Centres at every mandal to help themselves. The objective of this component is to address gender issues in an integrated manner as a means to reduce poverty. There is a need to integrate the economic empowerment with other aspects of empowerment such as social, political & cultural aspects. Violence emerged as a major issue and is understood as violating women rights to life and livelihood and hence this component offers support to women and strengthens their rights within family and society by providing livelihood, health and legal literacy. Gender Section is helping for building our overall perspective on the issue of domestic violence, problems faced in getting legal aid, motivated government to follow women to women approach in solving the problems. Gender group is working closely with Government officials at district level and working to resolve issues of cases of the Domestic violence at the village, mandal and district level.

7. Education Education wing of SERP supports community interventions in improving quality of education at various levels. They are as follows: i. Pre Primary Education: Various studies have shown that the kind of nurturing a child receives during the ages of 2 – 5 plays a very significant role in determining a child„s ability in the long run. The ECE centres play an instrumental role in laying a proper foundation for Primary Education. Keeping this in view, SERP has extended support in establishment of 229 ECE centres in four tribal mandals of Aliabad district and 128 centres in tribal mandals of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Warangal, Srikakulam and Khammam districts under the Community„s supervision and governance. The project is now extended to 16 tribal mandals across the state. More than 8000 children between the age group of 3 – 5 years are enrolled in these centres. The children in age group of 3-5 years are provided with Early Childhood Education in these centres. ii. Primary and Secondary Education: Children's rights are protected with a total abolition of child labour and all children enjoy their right to education. Improvement in quality of education at schools through community participation through women groups, gram panchayats, teachers and youth. This is being implemented in 3 tribal

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mandals in the ITDA Bhadrachalam area of Khammam district. It is being envisaged to scale up this model in all the mandals where ECE centres have been established. iii. Higher Education: Good quality education at +2 level, coupled with expert coaching to face admission tests for professional courses is felt imperative by all the parents in general. Financial deprivation has impeded the meritorious children from accessing good teaching and expert coaching being offered in institutes of repute.

To address this gap, SERP has facilitated the admission of 16,000 meritorious poor candidates in private / corporate junior colleges of repute for two year intermediate course integrated with focused coaching for IIT – JEE / AIEEE / EAMCET. This is being seen as an inter-generational poverty alleviation strategy. To address the issues of affordability of the target group on the one hand and the financial constraints of the government to subsidise the programme for long on the other, a viable model needs to be evolved. Microfinance seems to be a possible alternative. 7.1. Impacts- Qualitative and Quantitative: Education has been identified as a long term poverty alleviation strategy by the women groups. The activities are still in nascent stage and it would take few years before the impact of the activities of education wing is realized. Early results are already seen in case of community managed ECE centres. Outcomes from the activities of education wing are listed below: i. ECE: Significant improvement in physical, mental and cognitive development of children between the age group of 3 -5 years has been observed in the villages where ECE centres have been established. The impact has been observed at the primary schools to which these children graduate. The teachers in the primary schools in the project area are focusing on activity based learning. Community is also supporting the schools by engaging instructors who ensure that the activity based learning continues in the primary schools also. The teacher presents a Public Report to the parents and the village community once every month. Children of the school demonstrate and exhibit their learning attained during the preceding month during this presentation. The salary is paid to the instructor by the community only after they are satisfied with the month„s learning outcome achieved by the teacher. Monthly public reporting is a significant step towards strengthening the accountability process and also foster closer
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association with the community. This is one of the significant achievements of this intervention. ii. Vidya Jyothi (VJ): It was observed that English was a major impediment in successfully completing their schooling for the students from the tribal areas, and that they required an intensive teaching support to help them overcome this barrier. 18 candidates have been trained to serve as English Language Teachers in 50 Govt. Schools in the two tribal mandals of Warangal district. These candidates act as supplement to the already existing English faculty in these schools. iii. Child rights protection and Community monitoring of quality: 1143 children have been identified as out of school children. They have been enrolled in Residential Bridge Schools and would be mainstreamed. Community has been given training to monitor the quality of education in schools. Currently they are monitoring basic things like attendance of teachers and children, quality of mid day meal provided and basic infrastructural facilities in schools etc. Child Rights Protection Forums have been established in every village for protecting the rights of children. iv. Corporate Education for weaker sections: 16,000 children from the weaker sections have been admitted in private / corporate junior colleges of repute for two year intermediate course integrated with focused coaching for IIT – JEE / AIEEE / EAMCET. There is an increased demand for continuation of the scheme and it has also been observed that the students belonging to weaker sections have put in extra effort to secure more marks in SSC exams with the hope of being in the race for corporate education. Performance of 7,592 children in the first year examinations is as follows: Grades Secured A + Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D Grade No. of Candidates 254 3098 2632 530 1078 3% 41 % 35 % 7% 14 % Percentage (%)

v.

Vidya Nidhi: Women Groups in certain districts have created corpus for education and are facilitating education loans. Direct marketing of the agricultural produce by
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the SHGs in Karimnagar district has yielded 1.5% commission per quintal. 25% of this amount is allocated by the ZS as Vidya & Kalyana Nidhi (for Education and marriage loans). Women groups are also saving for education and this amount is also added to the corpus. Within one year the women groups mobilized Rs. 4.00 crores as Education / marriage Fund. is earmarked are facilitated by the ZS. Women groups in Chandragiri Mandal are operating a revolving fund of Rs. 28 lakhs for Higher education. Women groups in Prakasham district have also initiated education savings. The women groups are open to the idea of availing interest free bank loans for +2 and higher education in case there is no funding from the government. 7.2. Leveraging Resources: Proposals are in place for convergence with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for leveraging certain financial and human resources from the mission for setting up of ECE centres and Child Rights and Community monitoring of quality in schools. SSA has already sanctioned financial support for establishment and running of RBCs by the Mandal Samakhyas. SSA has also given orders for enabling the SHG women to inspect the functioning of RBCs. SSA has also issued orders for formation of Academic Monitoring Committees consisting of community members which would be responsible for monitoring the performance of students in the schools. Education wing of SERP has facilitated convergence between the departments of Social Welfare, Tribal Welfare, BC Welfare and Minorities Welfare for implementation of the scheme ―Corporate Education for Weaker Sections‖. SERP acts only as a facilitator in this scheme whereas the required financial resources are acquired from the welfare departments. Women groups in certain district are saving for education and education loans are being availed. Steps will be taken to institutionalize these pilots and extension of micro finance facility for +2 and higher education. 7.1.Scaling up:

2100 ECE centres will be established in next five years in 40 mandals where the Health and Nutrition intervention of SERP is taken up in a big way. In these 40 mandals focus shall be on community managed ECE centres, community monitoring of quality in state run primary and upper primary schools. Secondary schools in these mandals shall also get a support through SERP in the form of community engaging subject teachers as per requirement,
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provision of after school support to the children and interest free loans for higher education. Quality improvement in schools through community participation will be taken up in all the mandals over a period of five years in partnership with M.V.Foundation. Capacities of VO members and Gram Panchayats would be built to monitor the quality of education in schools. The following activities would be taken up under this project:     Facilitate proper functioning of school and to improve the quality of education in the local government schools and make the schools proper learning centres. Facilitate institutional planning in schools by making an assessment of the need gap in the schools. Ensure increased participation of the community, Gram Panchayats, women groups and teachers in improving the overall functioning in the schools. Observing and documenting best practices to be followed in the schools to make them better learning centres. Government of India is recasting the National Literacy Mission as National Mission for Literacy of Women. Government of Andhra Proposes to leverage the CBO structure of IKP. Their overarching plan includes identifying each SHG as a learning centre and reaching out to all the rural women. The mission also proposes to provide continuing education to SHG women through Open Schools.

7.2.Performance Indicators:

I.

Early Childhood Education    No. of Children enrolled in the ECE centres Average number of children enrolled per centre Percentage of children enrolled in center with respect to the children present in the village.

II.

Higher Education:    Number and percentage of children securing admission in professional courses Performance in final examination of the +2 course. Number of students enabled to pursue an alternate but a rewarding career through career counseling.

III.

Quality improvement in schools through community participation
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    

Attendance of teachers and children in the schools Improved performance of the students in government schools. Reduction of dropout rate in the schools Number of children securing first class marks in the 10th examination Percentage pass out in the schools

IV.

Literacy Mission and Open Schooling     No. of SHG members enrolled in the literacy centres. No. of SHG members enrolled in the continuing education centres. No. of SHG members enrolled in open schools. No. of SHG members passing the X class examination conducted by AP open school society.

V.

Vidya Nidhi:   Amount of corpus in the Nidhi No. of SHG women availing loan for the education of their children.

The major activities into which SERP in education sector are ECE centres, Quality improvement,Mainstream school drop outs, Higer education and corporate education. 7.3.ECE Centres:
Early Childhood Education involves the total development of children physical, motor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral. ECE is considered a significant input to compensate for early environmental deprivations at home by providing a stimulating environment to children. Early Childhood Care and Education remains a privilege for many young children in India. Only 32% of the pre-primary age children are enrolled in education structures at this level. With increase in women participation in the work force across the country among all socio-economic groups, there has been a sea change in social structures and practices in the last few decades. A significant indicator of this change has been the emergence of the nuclear family, a change which has converted child upbringing from what was traditionally a shared responsibility into the sole responsibility of the young parents. This responsibility is often further delegated. While in the higher income brackets children are often left with paid surrogate care takers, in the lower socio-economic communities the responsibility of care giving get loaded on to the older sisters, thus keeping them often out of school and robbing them of their childhood. As a result, given the constant pressures and challenges of day to day existence in todays complex society, the possibilities of informal early care and education for 22

the young child at home is becoming less of a reality. It was this changing social context, over the years, which laid the seeds for the introduction of the concept of ECE.In the year 2008-09, 185 ECE centres (128in Adilabad district, 20 in Visakhapatnam district and 37 in Warangal district) have been set up under the Community's supervision and governance. The children in age group of 3 to 5 years are provided with Early Childhood Education in these centres. Community governed, community managed ECE centres have shown significant improvement in physical, mental and cognitive development of children between the age group of 3-5 years in the project area. Quality training is provided to all the instructors at Sodhana Resource Centre, Cheepurupally.The hallmark of the centres in this district is a public reporting system that has been put in place, according to which a school festival (Badi Panduga) is celebrated on the last Saturday of every month. The instructors submit their monthly report and the children will demonstrate their learning during that month. The remuneration for the instructors is paid by the VO on the school festival day. The remuneration for the cluster and mandal coordinators is paid by the MMS in their monthly RGB meeting after reviewing the progress of the schools.

7.4.Mainstream school dropout:
SERP is supporting the Mandala Mahila Samakhyas of Chintoor, mandal of Khammam district, Kothaguda Mandal of Warangal District and Sirpur (U) mandal of Adilabad district to enable drop-out Tribal youth to appear as Private Candidates for SSC Public Examinations and thereby improve their life skills. SERP has been supporting the Project in partnership with an NGO Koyathore Bata for the last four years i.e. 2005 -06 to 2008 -09.

A survey was taken up by Koyathore Bata to identify ST school dropout youth between the age group of 18-28 years. RBCs under Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) facilitate entry of school dropouts up to the age of 14 years only. Hence support is extended as a special dispensation to encourage the tribal youth to acquire minimum Educational qualification of SSC and to motivate them to pursue higher Education. The school drop-out Tribal youth are given intensive coaching for SSC Public Examinations. This intervention has reached more than 2500 tribal youth in the last 4 years belonging to primitive tribes like Koya, Kondareddy and Naikpod communities.

During 2008 -09, 525 youth were given intensive coaching in these camps. Nearly 40% of the tribal youth enrolled in RBCs have passed SSC examinations since 2005 -06 to 2008 -09. The organization also proposes to add value to the project by incorporating some services like perspective building, Life Skill Training and Livelihood training.

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7.5.Higher education:
The Orvakal Mandal Mahila Samakhya is one of the oldest Samakhyas and received support under UNDP project. It is one of the identified SAPAP mandals under UNDP project. Besides addressing the issues of livelihood, the MMS has long before planned for education and started motivating the SHG women to save for their childrens education. For the last 10 years the Samakhya has been championing the cause of Child labour by running Bhavitha Child Labour Bridge School through which many child labour boys and girls have been mainstreamed into regular Educational Institutions. The Samakhya has continued their support to the cause of education for the poor children in general and rescued child labourers in particular around the mandal. The women members of the Samakhya are now a reserve of trained Community Resource Persons (CRPs) who are travelling across the nation to sensitize women in different states on their success in moving out of poverty through various poverty alleviation strategies.

All the women members have collectively worked towards strengthening their MMS in more senses than one. Each member as a part of their contribution provided physical labour in construction of buildings for schools. The senior CRPs have contributed a part of their resource fee to the Samakhya with the help of which buildings have been constructed to run a high school and a Junior college in the premises of the Samakhya. The resource fee contribution of the members is to the tune of over Rs. 1.0 Crore over a period of five years. With the passage of time, the institutions have grown and the recurring expenditure on the school has increased enormously. Undeterred by the odds, the women members continue their efforts to build institutions for their childrens education. The long term investment of MMS members on school and college testifies to the great vision of the women who could perceive that anything spent on education is not expenditure but a sound investment. Their perception of Education as the surest way out of poverty is now yielding good results.

As many as 1000 Child labour withdrawn from work have had an opportunity to access good education and a sound footing in jobs like Staff Nurses, Computer Operators, Security guards etc: The brighter students, especially girls have now come to the stage of +2 and are willing to continue their education. To meet the aspirations of such students, a Junior College was started by the Samakhya in 2007-08. Since provision of quality education at High school and Junior college level is fraught with heavy expenditure on faculty, infrastructure, the women members are apprehensive of the viability of the school and college. They are in need of financial assistance to bridge the viability gap and to make the community owned educational institutions sustainable. In consideration of the

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relentless efforts of the members of MMS, Orvakal in furtherance of the cause of Education from primary level to +2 levels, SERP is providing Education Resource Support.

7.6.Corporate education:
Good quality education at +2 level, coupled with expert coaching to face admission tests for professional courses is felt imperative by all the parents in general. Financial deprivation has impeded the meritorious children from accessing good teaching and expert coaching being offered in institutes of repute. To address this gap, SERP has facilitated the admission of 8,000 meritorious poor candidates in private / corporate junior colleges of repute, during 2008-09, for two year intermediate course integrated with focused coaching for IIT JEE / AIEEE / EAMCET. This is being seen as an inter-generational poverty alleviation strategy.

There is an increased demand for continuation of the scheme and it has also been observed that the students belonging to weaker sections have put in extra effort to secure more marks in SSC, 2009 exams with the hope of being in the race for corporate education. The scheme is continued in 200910, in convergence with the Welfare departments and 8009 students are being admitted in institutes of repute.

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8. HR Unit in SPMU 1. Success of implementation of schemes adopted by SERP mainly depends on the employees working in the organization who are instrumental in implementing the same. The HR unit of SPMU SERP Hyderabad mainly deals with the matters of around 6700 Fixed Tenure Employees working in IKP throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh. H.R unit is mainly guided by the HR policy adopted by the Executive Council of the SERP in terms of Bye-law no 10(X1) of the Society. 2. Prior to adoption of HR policy the appointment of staff, their service conditions were unorganized. The HR unit of SPMU, SERP has prepared the HR Policy applicable to all the employees working in IKP, which was approved by the Executive Council. As per the HR policy the employees of IKP were classified in to various levels i.e. L1 to L6 levels duly assigning various designations to them.

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3. In furtherance of HR Policy, the HR unit has prepared and issued the Terms and Conditions of Employment of SERP Employees, 2009 which deals with creation and classification of posts, appointment and tenure of employment, pay structure, leave rules, code of conduct and discipline etc., of all IKP employees, as approved by the Executive Council of the Society. 4. As per the said Terms and Conditions all eligible employees have been given letter of appointments as Fixed Tenure Employees on contract basis for an initial period of 5 years at a stretch, renewable for further period till they attain the age of 58 years, subject to need to the organization and their satisfactory performance. 5. Since the employees of IKP play a pivotal role in effective implementation of schemes of SERP as already mentioned above, career advancement opportunities were given to encourage them. 6. The Human Resource Monitoring system has been developed and placed in Web site, which covers all the particulars of employees, level wise and district wise. 7. A comprehensive system has been developed for on line payment of monthly remuneration to the staff of IKP to ensure prompt and timely payment as per their eligibility. 8. Expansion of activities to new areas like Abahyahastam, Education, Dairy, etc, and intensification of existing activities like IB,CIF, Marketing, NPM etc, necessitated rationalization and reorganization of staff. Accordingly staffs have been reorganized and positions are indicated at different levels i.e. District/Cluster/Mandal levels. Counselling has been conducted to position the employees of various levels as per reorganization of staff. 9. HR Unit of SERP is working to facilitate optimum utilization of available Human Resources for effective implementation of the programmes taken up by the SERP and also to provide better working conditions and career growth of its employees by adopting various polices from time to time.

9. Convergence with Key Line Departments SERP beautifully does convergence between different line departments. Some of the departments are:

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Rural development

SERP carries out convergence between SGSY, Old age pensions and MGREGS for carrying out integrated rural development.         Tribal welfare Health and family Welfare – SERP carried out AIDS awareness campaign at different parts of rural Andhra Pradesh Civil supplies Streamlining PDS M.S.P through V.Os- SERP provides minimum support prices for various Agricultural produce through Village Organizations. Revenue – SERP helps in maintaining land purchase and land access of government. Police and Judiciary – SERP runs Family counseling centres and Family Planning centres at various places in the state with the help of its Institution structure. Women & Child welfare: SERP runs Nutrition centres for pregnant women, lactating mothers and infants till 6 months after birth wherein healthy and nutritious food is provided to them.      PRIs- better participation and voice of poor in Gram sabhas and Gram panchayats Animal Husbandry – SERP has entered in to a partnership with A.P.D.D.C.F to improve the possibility of Dairy as an alternate source of income. Agriculture – Non Pesticide Management programme run by SERP is the largest intervention fo this sort in the country Forestry – NTFP collection and marketing for improving lives of tribals Urban development – SERP helps enhance rural – urban linkages

10. Reflections SERP is an organization carrying out time bound programme. With annual budget of over 800 crores, it is the largest poverty alleviation programme in the world. SERP has included over 1 crore women in the fold of its SHG‟s, thus making it the largest women empowerment programme in the world. The strategy of SERP is target based. This gives a clear picture for the implementers regarding the focus of the interventions. SERP focuses on PoP (Poorest of Poor), vulnerable women and disabled persons. This helps to have an inclusion of all the
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stakeholders of society, and in turn a balanced growth in society. SERP beautifully exemplifies how its leverages its core USP, the power of scale to bring all the poor in

the state in to a single social network and then have an all round growth. SERP achieves scaling up of its projects with the help of the Community Resource Persons. They ensure that the programme is uniformly implemented. SERP uses social issues to carry out large scale collective action in the state. SERP has a huge structure ranging right from the Office at Hyderabad to all districts of Andhra Pradesh reaching out to almost all the villages of the state. The institutional network of SERP has over a crore members in SHG‟s, along with government departments, state administrative machinery, district administrative machinery, various NGO‟s, corporate, citizens etc. Besides that, the administrative structure of SERP has as diverse as 18 functional departments, with each department being an organization on its own having different cultures, hierarchy, structure etc. This made it highly difficult to apply any theoretical frameworks to our study. In fact, there are many instances of duplication of roles, one person carrying out many functions or many people carrying out same function. The role clarity in almost all departments is very low at all levels of SERP structure. Hence, we proposed that SERP needs to undergo an in depth study of its organization which needs to be carried out by experts in the field. This study will help in drastically improving the efficiency of SERP. The documentation efforts at SERP is very minimal. The SHG Federation structure needs to be more widely documented along with all the activities. The management of SERP is very complex expecially due to involvement of state machinery. The accountability levels at all levels in SERP are low. But, CEO is making keen efforts to improve the accountability. The attendance system which was virtually absent has started to be enforced, all employees at Head Office is made payments of the salaries only after evaluation of their monthly job done report. The teachers at ECE centres are paid salary by the community at the monthly meetings wherein students display what they learned during the month, and parents, if satisfied with the efforts of teacher, approves the payment of salaries. An interesting mode of ensuring accountability is the regular communication between field and office. CEO carries out regular video conferencing from the Secretariat with all the ZS heads of all the states of Andhra Pradesh. Online monitoring of all the departments is done. All the departments at all the places have to periodically upload the status reports at the organization website available
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in public domain. Hence, it becomes easy to monitor. The entire web site is maintained by Tata Consultancy Services. CEO is the Head with all the executive powers vested with him. This helps in streamlining all the programs. On the other hand, all the programs run by SERP depend largely on CEO. Hence, a change in CEO results in changing the orientation of SERP interventions. SERP has a good mix of both young and aged population. It has led to the right mix of experience of situations handling and bringing innovations and fresh ideas into the organization. There are people from institutes such as IIMs, IRMA, TISS etc who bring in the professionalism into the organization to a greater extent. Also, SERP welcomes various domestic and international trainees to have out of the box solutions to their existing problems. SERP provides encouragement for good programmes eg. CMSA, NPM in Land, ECE in education etc. Good programs in any part of state or country are taken up as pilot in some districts. If the results are good, it is implemented in the entire state. An appreciative aspect of SERP Institution is that, all the members at SHG level, VO, MS and ZS levels have regular monthly meetings to discuss their agendas. Times for all meetings are kept. Agendas are fixed beforehand. The salaries of all the office bearers are sanctioned after careful evaluation of monthly job done reports in the presence of all the members. Apart from this, SERP also carries out regular training programs for all its members to ensure optimum efficiency and professionalism. Overall, SERP has impacted many lives, and managed to bring the Poorest of poor to the level of poor, and poor out of poverty and sustain those levels.

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