“Strive on! With tireless enthusiasm strive on to reach your goal; without a goal, the best in you can never come out to express itself.” – Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda

The CBO is a major substratum component of the Program. Other Program components converge into and diverge from the CBOs. All Program components are interconnected and interwoven with each other. CORD facilitates the institutional capacities of the CBOs to address the community’s diverse issues related to their life through the following program components:

Community-Based Livelihood – Farm and Non Farm Sectors

Through this program, CORD is working to integrate marginalized people into the mainstream economy by exploring various livelihood avenues and nurturing their skills and capacities by strengthening their group dynamics, product dynamics and marketing dynamics. Further, to provide them with the necessary financial help, they are given access to micro credit through Self Help Group (SHG) and activity groups. CORD works in community-based livelihood in two main sectors – farms and allied sector, and non-farm and service sector. It gives special recognition for women as farmers and in promoting organic and sustainable farming techniques.

Community Based Social Justice and Gender Sensitization

This program works in close interactions and integration with other program components of CORD for the victim’s socio-economic rehabilitation at various levels. Encouraged by CORD’s experiences and successful interventions, Social Justice and Empowerment Department of the Government of Himachal Pradesh has selected CORD as a ‘Service Provider’ organization in Himachal Pradesh. CORD has been able to help resolve various cases through its participatory approach with community groups and different stakeholders such as the police, lawyers, human rights law network etc. These cases registered with CORD vary from environmental issues to right to information to domestic violence to rape and murder. CORD works actively through its CBOs to decrease discrimination due to gender, caste, creed and class.

Community-Based Health, Nutrition, Sanitation, and Hygiene

This program focuses on providing and linking primary health care services, family planning and child health, nutrition and awareness of health issues and health-related social issues like female foeticide and HIV-AIDS to various program components. CORD earlier worked to strengthen community health at the sub-primary level through CBOs, Village Health Guides (VHGs), Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs/Dais). Now, it integrates its programs with the government frontline functionaries such as ASHA workers, Aganwadi workers and multi-purpose health workers posted at the Panchayat level by the government.

CORD’s nutrition program with special focus on maternal and child health, by increasing the awareness, too integrates with the government frontline functionaries and it emphasizes on food security and proper balanced diet through growth of kitchen garden, diary, poultry and cultivation of pulses and promotion of sustainable organic agriculture.

CORD is also working to promote basic sanitation and hygiene practices in association with CBOs through awareness programs, focus group discussions, health and hygiene education, presentations on best practices, volunteer resource person trainings, constructing over 12,000 low cost toilet units, soakage pits, and garbage pits etc.

Community-based inclusion and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities

The aim of CBIR is to work with disabled people in a focused manner to transform their disability into ability. CORD, through this program, ensures holistic development of disabled individuals in all aspect of their life by strengthening their networking with CBOs at the grassroots, various service providers i.e. medical, therapeutic and rehabilitation services, exploring livelihood avenues as per their abilities and skills, including them into mainstream education and enabling them to become effective contributor instead of being mere issue of charity and welfare. CORD has been active in advocacy of the rights of the persons with disability since 1987 and has worked with the rights-based agencies to ensure that people with disabilities are not left out of the mainstream development.

Participatory Natural Resource Management

CORD is working to create awareness regarding natural resources management in CBOs and villages. CORD work and assist interested CBOs to forge ahead to explore and survey their resources with few entry point activities to initiate participatory integrated and sustainable natural resources management program in a selected area.

This includes mobilization and sensitization of beneficiaries and stakeholders, identification and prioritization of issues by micro-planning, formation of stakeholder groups like VDCs (village development committee), WC (Watershed Committee), User groups through CBOs and implementation of activities planned. The inter-relationship of the seven Js – Jal, Jungle, Jameen, Jan, Janwar, Jivika, Jalvayu (Water, Forest, Land, Human, Animals, Livelihood, Air) – is highlighted and communities are mobilized to take appropriate actions to protect the environment and the ecology while promoting livelihood with natural resource managemetnt .

 Local self-governance through Panchayati Raj Institutions

CORD mobilizes people through CBOs built in ward-wise to strengthen Up-Gram Sabha (Ward/village/hamlet level meeting) and Gram Sabha (General village councils) in Panchayati Raj Institutions (Local self-governance). CORD also works to enhance capacity of elected village leaders in the Panchayats.

This enables the community to utilize maximum benefits from various Central and State Government sponsored schemes under various programs. This way CORD is working to strengthen the process of decentralization (transfer of 3F’s i.e. funds, functionaries, and functions) at the grassroots in a participatory manner, and facilitate better delivery of government services in primary schools, health sub-centers, public food distribution systems, and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), Right to Information (RTI) Act, and other government welfare schemes through CBOs with identification of appropriate beneficiary.

Literacy, including Adult Literacy, Financial and Digital Literacy and Computer Literacy

CORD trains Village Volunteer Resource Persons (VVRPs) on specific issues, such as adult literacy, to help them enable illiterate women to learn to sign their names, read numbers etc. Financial and digital literacy is promoted through SHGs for all villagers. Further, as per requirements, computer literacy classes are arranged at various sites of CORD.

Alcohol Abuse Awareness and Management

Excessive drinking of alcohol is a challenging issue in our society. CORD is working through CBOs with the ‘Sinclair Method’ by identifying and treating alcoholics which includes counseling and rehabilitation. Sinclair Method is a cost effective outreach program for alcoholics which CORD has adopted for the first time in India.

Right to Left: Dr. Roy Eskapa, the author of the ‘Cure for Alcoholism by Sinclair Method’, Claudia Christen, an American actress promoting the Sinclair Method after being cured by it, Dr. Kshama Metre, National Director of CORD and Mr. Narandra Paul, COO, CORD.

Self Help Groups

Within a newly formed Mahila Mandal, CORD forms SHGs with ten to twenty women in each SHG. The purpose of the SHG is to obtain microcredit from banks with, encourage members to save, and to lend money to its members. In an informal setting, the women learn basic financial skills. They begin with minimal contributions, learn to inter-loan, and keep books.

They move from taking loans for their essential needs to setting up their own retail outlets such as Guru Dhara Self-Help Group Shop. The SHGs are also forums to link family members to other financial products- individual bank accounts, pension and insurance schemes of the government. CORD is moving towards digitalization of the SHGs through the e-Shakti program of NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).