Sharmik Bharti is a nonprofit organization registered on the 15th of Oct. 1986, under Societies Registration Act of 1860. It is situated in Vikas Nagar of Lakhanpur, Kanpur and works for both urban and rural communities.
It believes in building a true democratic society. Eradication of poverty, empowerment of women, welfare of children and community’s capacity building are its main goals. The organization now has more than 90 full time professionals and 150 community based volunteers striving hard for the betterment of 125 slums and 11 blocks of Kanpur and Dehat districts of Kanpur.
The early years of its inception were very genuinely spent in identifying the problems of the community and their root causes. Right from 1986, the organization was working along with the people and for the people to better understand their priorities and the needs of the community. Based on these findings, there emerged Self Help Groups for the empowerment of people. These groups became one of the core strengths of Shramik Bharti and worked for the slums of both rural and urban areas of Kanpur. Importance was given to the creation of sanitation infrastructure and the introduction of health care facilities in these areas. From then onwards, there is no look back for Shramik Bharati. It had taken up many useful activities for the betterment of the people and the community. To cite a few, reclamation of waste land for generation of livelihood, establishing partnerships with support organizations to cater to the needs of the society, respecting people’s choices and assisting them to improve upon those areas etc.
To achieve their objectives and goals Shramik Bharti focuses on three core areas. They are Micro Finance and Livelihood Promotion; Community Health; and Grass root Democracy.
Micro Finance Programs:
Under microfinance programs ‘Boond Bachat’ and ‘Self Help Groups’ Federations play an important role. Shramik Bharti started a direct money lending program in 1989 which is known as ‘Boond Bachat.’ The idea behind this program is the small amount of money that is being saved initially, will gradually grow and becomes an investment one day. This program was launched in the urban slums and it slowly spread to rural areas. This micro finance program has served nearly 10,000 members in 92 villages and 62 slums of Kanpur city and districts.
On the other hand, Sharmik Bharti clubbed SHGs [Self Help Groups] to form Federations which later were brought together to form a Mutual Benefit Trust. The SHGs deposit their savings in the federation for which they are paid an interest of 6%. The federation also receives a membership fee of Rs. 1000 per annum from the members. Shramik Bharti and the community representatives formed a Board of Trustees. A few SHGs came together to form clusters. The Board of Trustees and the clusters meet once in a month. They review the applications...