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Ankur (Sowing Seeds of Women Empowerment)

– Sundarbans Agriculture and Livelihood Support Project

Ankur is a gender and economic justice project in Sundarbans with livelihood promotion as a core component.

Our Intervention 

Climate change impact and our response in Sundarbans – Back to back cyclones and saline water infestation into the agricultural field has been making life of the people of Sundarbans difficult. All the participants of this project are marginal farmers or landless (take a small area of land in lease to cultivate), whose land is affected by the saline water, which makes it difficult to grow food. This project has been helping people to revive their salty agricultural land by supporting them with seeds and other support. Reducing dependence on chemical fertilisers, hybrid seeds and moving towards organic farming is a step to adapt to climate change in the area. 

Food security and economic empowerment – Most of the people of Sundarbans grow their own food, which was highly affected by the flood and salinity of soil after the cyclone.  One objective of the project is to ensure food security of these vulnerable families. Most of the participants are now growing vegetables with our support. Many of them are now able to grow more than what you are consuming which they are selling in the local market to earn money.

Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change – Women of Sundarbans do not have any access, control and ownership over land and other resources. Women and girls experience the impacts of climate change, which amplifies existing gender inequalities and poses unique threats to their livelihoods, health, and safety. All the direct beneficiaries of this project are women and gender equity aspect are addresses through different activities.

This project is supported by Community Jameel.

To know more see this video :

Story that matters


“Earlier I had to pray for money from my husband but now I have enough for my expenses” as expressed by 45 years Namita. Namita Das, who previously recognized herself as house wife, but now as a farmer and entrepreneur.

Namita’s family is one of the vulnerable families who were extensively devastated by the cyclone Yaas and the flood in Patibuniya village, Namkhana. They had lost their subsistence. During that time Rupantaran Foundation distributed various seeds to 7000 such vulnerable women like Namita. With that support and guidance from us she has grown a large number of vegetables. Along with seeds she received lime powder and mustard husk which was used to reduce the salinity in soil. With organic manure instead of chemical fertilizers she had grown cucumbers and spinach more than other crops.

The most interesting fact is she has preserved spinach seeds from the dried plants and stored them in newspaper fold for future use. Also she has sold some of the seeds and also shared with some neighbors. From her earnings she has reinvested in poultry to diversify and increase her source of income.

Namita has started farming with her own will and inspiration from Rupantaran, for which she can proudly say that she has become self-sufficient.