Adibashi Family Enterprise Devlopment Programe

A.1 Extreme Poor to Medium Poor (Since 1990 to 2023)

Context of Adibashi’s

  1. Most marginalized, disadvantaged, socially excluded, landless and belongs to the ultra-poor group.
  2. Encounter discrimination in many aspects of their lives, including access to healthcare, fair and secured employment, political participation, education and other civil and fundamental rights as a citizen of the country.
  3. Continuously been targeted to aggression and attack and eviction from their ancestral lands.
  4. For being minority in the society they are considered as helpless, powerless and second class citizens having no guardian or authority to protect the rights of these peoples.

Vision: Integration of Adibashi people with the wider society without compromising their socio-cultural identity, dignity and heritage.

Mission: Foster greater unity among the Adibashi’s under the self-managed institution, improve leadership capacities, raising awareness so that they can raise their voice demanding due rights as a citizen of the country.

Strategic Goals

In order to fulfill the mission, Ashrai worked for strengthening capacities of poor Adibashis to 

  • Improve living condition and ensure food security through increased productivity, income and employment.
  • Increase accessibility to social capitals and quality basic services.
  • Combat all sorts of injustice and inequalities especially for women and socially disadvantaged and excluded.
  • Increase adaptability to climate change situation and better cope with disaster risks.

Strategic Objectives & activities

To reach its strategic goals, Ashrai has set following objectives to achieve through its set activities.

  1. Development of Adibashi’s self-managed Institution for
    1. Strengthening social capitals of Adibashi communities
    2. Foster mutual trust & enhance social cohesions.
    3. Strive for increased accessibility to basic social services, rights & justice.
  1. Enhance Economic Empowerment through
  1. Accumulation of Savings and promoting IGAs.
  2. Increasing accessibility to financial services
  3. Support enterprise development through business development services.
  4. Increased accessibility to social resources (khas land, water bodies etc)

Strategic Objectives & activities

  1. Improve knowledge, skill and capacities in areas of;
  • Income & employment generation activities.
  • Production and marketing of goods & servicers.
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Adaptation to climatic hazards.
  • Due social rights and responsibilities.
  1. Increase accessibility to available government supports & services
  • Primary Health Care & MCH services
  • Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Child Education
  • Water & Sanitation etc.
  1. Restore & promote cultural heritage and dignity
  2. Promote disaster resilience activities for sustainable adaptation climate change

Key activities of Ashrai

Based on its perception of poverty and in reaching its overall goal of sustainable poverty alleviation, Ashrai implementing a range of interrelated activities which can be categorized into following five major sectors.

  1. Institution Building
  2. Economic Empowerment
  3. Social Empowerment – access to rights & basic livelihood services
  4. Environmental Development activities.
  5. Skill Development activities.


Institution Building

  • Institutional development begun with the mobilization of neighboring Adibashi men and women into local based society or social groups.
  • Later the societies were transformed into Para (village) Committee headed by Village Headman aiming to put wider influence over the villages. The role of Para committee was to foster mutual trust, resolve inter-para or village based problems affecting to Adibashi’s and facilitate growth of Savings Societies of Adibashi’ women and enhance leadership development.
  • By the end of 1996, Ashrai successfully expanded its activities in 9 thanas (current upazilla) of Rajshahi district and formed 611 Societies in 536 villages covering 10,383 families.
  • At this stage, Ashrai felt the necessity for widening the local level institutional structure (PC) for bringing greater unity among the Adibashi communities. This has resulted the formation of Tribal Development Council (TDC).
  • The purpose was to organize all Adibashi groups into a common platform aiming to foster mutual trust, enhance social cohesion combat eliminating all sorts of social disparities and injustice, raise voice and strive for accessibility to basic social services, resources, rights and Justices.
  • By the end of 2005, 81,696 families were organized under 450 TDC formed with representatives from 4,819 local societies.
  • Following the successes of TDC, during the period 2008 to 2010, the TDC was further transformed into Lahanti circle and then finally Lahanti Akhra (Development centre) by integrating both social and economic activities under a same umbrella. The Lahanti Akhra is also called as Federation of Adibashi communities was formed to integrate and strengthen the Adibashi institutes aiming to replace the role of Ashrai in future and sustain as an independent institute of Adibashi’s.

Economic Empowerment

  • Side by side the formation of village based societies Ashrai begun formation of Savings group or Savings Societies aiming to begin the process of economic empowerment of Adibsahi communities.
  • The accumulated savings facilitated the growth of IGAs.
  • Training on IGA management and leadership development begun.
  • Increased protection of HH income through increased access to state and social services like;
    • Economic resources like Khas land and ponds.
    • Productive services like agriculture, livestock and fisheries
    • Essential livelihoods services like health, education etc.
    • Other social supports like VGF, VGD cards, old age pension etc.
  • Promotion of family based enterprises enhanced economic growth.
  • Increased accumulation of assets for
    • Increased and diversified income
    • Reduction of vulnerability management cost and
    • Reduction in social deprivations