SSP’s origin was in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Latur in Maharashtra after the natural disaster in 1993. It provided a number of significant lessons that have since been applied to develop a model for disaster management and reconstruction across the country and abroad.
SSP saw that empowering women and communities helped them recover faster and get back on their feet. When women were taught business and entrepreneurial skills, they were able to improve their livelihoods and gained confidence and resilience. Today, SSP operates in 13 of the most disaster prone; climate threatened and economically challenged districts like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
In 2008, SSP promoted a national initiative in collaboration with NGO networks and groups in drought hit, cyclone and flood prone rural and coastal belts across a total of seven states that include Orissa, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.
The Community Resilience Fund supports grassroots women’s groups to map disaster and climate risks, prepare plans to counter vulnerabilities and lobby with the government to obtain resources from anti-poverty and development programs.
From 2006, SSP has moved steadily from a savings and credit, micro enterprise strategy to setting up social businesses that provide large scale sustainable livelihoods and incomes to women. Building capacities of women’s groups who emerged as facilitators, SSP used the emerging market opportunity in rural areas to move women from the margin to the mainstream, as borrowers - entrepreneurs - producers - stakeholders in social and community enterprises.