The South Asian Times

21 May 2018 20:29 PM

US-based foundation launches livelihood programme in Kerala


Washington, April 3: A US-based foundation has launched a "livelihood and income generation" programme in India's Kerala state, a media report said.

The programme by the Javad K. Hassan Foundation, which involves local stakeholders, has been launched initially in two villages in two suburbs -- Kuttamasseri and Chengamanadu -- of Ernakulam district, The American Bazaar said in a report on Sunday.

In Kuttamasseri, which is roughly 20 miles (32 km) to the northeast of Kochi city, the foundation is working with a local group that helps paddy farmers.

The foundation is helping the group with seed money to scale farming in Kuttamasseri, Moustafa Mourad, president of the foundation, told The American Bazaar.

The funds from the foundation will be used for preparing the land, planting seedlings, paying for the workers and also for harvesting, post-harvest processes and marketing, he said.

In Chengamanadu, the foundation has established a local bag manufacturing unit to produce paper bags.

The goal is to diminish the use of plastic bags by the local communities and, at the same time, empower local women to earn their livelihoods, said Mourad.

The foundation, based in McLean, Virginia, was started by prominent Indian American entrepreneur and technology leader Javad K. Hassan.

The two programmes are part of the foundation's recent shift in focus from charity to development.

Hassan said the focus was shifted with the goal of leveraging Information Technology to help underserved communities find income generating opportunities, move up and out of poverty, and join the economic mainstream of society.

"Not by donating money, but by equipping them with the capacity to be more self sustaining and more self reliant," The American Bazaar quoted Hassan as saying.

Update: 03 April, 2017