India’s economic growth of 7.4% in 2014 is mostly led by powerful and successful corporations located in big cities. Yet in the meantime, about 30 % of the urban population in West Bengal falls below the Poverty line (1.25 USD per day).
The economic growth has not reduced the gap between the poorest and the rest of the population. West Bengal is one of the poorest areas in India. In Kolkata and around, millions of people are living in slums and on the streets, where school drop-out, health issues and malnutrition are common.
In this context, slum dwellers need to be integrated in India’s overall growth through comprehensive financial, business development and social services.
Disadvantaged families have to cope with a lack of income. They are stuck in the poverty trap: material poverty as well as intellectual poverty. For most of them, only a small boost is needed to get out of it.
Aware of the current context in Kolkata and Howrah, STEP allows families to improve their living conditions by helping them to develop an income-generating activity thanks to microcredit.
Beyond this financial support, we set up a social and business development follow-up with our business trainings and our programmes.