About AKRSP(I) The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) is a non-denominational, non-government development organisation. AKRSP(I) works as a catalyst for the betterment of rural communities by providing direct support to local communities to promote activities and develop models for sustainable natural resource use and development of human resources. AKRSP(I) is active in over 900 villages in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The major issues addressed by AKRSP(I) in these regions include: Coastal salinity ingress prevention Drought coping Gir periphery management Non-farm livelihood interventions for the poor Participatory irrigation management Promotion of decentralised drinking water systems River Basin Management Watershed plus Imparting computer skill training and information dissemination resources for livelihood enhancement. This, however, is not possible if human resources are not simultaneously developed, so that communities can take control over the development processes along with project planning and implementation. The approaches to human resource development, in order to sustain the environment and build on democratic processes, however, are not well defined. AKRSP(I) strongly believes in the approach that the process of community organisation is based on diversity of the working area like; region, needs, interests, attitudes, behaviours etc. Working with a gender perspective AKRSP(I) works with a gender-sensitive and poverty-focused approach, incorporating it into the entire spectrum of its activities, so that both women and the poorest get equal opportunities to participate in developmental activities and benefit from them. To address the strategic needs of women and the poorest, such as control over assets and resources, their involvement in decision-making processes is important. So, there is a need to organise these sections of the community. Hence, separate women’s institutions (MVMs, SHGs) are being formed to provide a platform to these sections to build their separate identity. The objectives of these for a are to voice and discuss their concerns and build their capacity to join mainstream village institutions such as village development committees (VDC) and gram vikas mandals (GVMs). Non-farm livelihood interventions for the poor A core focus of AKRSP(I)’s development strategy has been to provide opportunities to the poorest of the poor to enhance their livelihoods. The AKRSP(I) programme area of South Gujarat ranks among the poorest in the state. Due to low landholdings and low land productivity, there is distress migration in the region. Over the last three years, AKRSP(I) and tribal communities have developed partnerships through promotion of non-farm and off-farm-based micro enterprises that help the poorest and landless in generating incomes, thereby reducing distress migration. AKRSP(I) has been promoting enterprises along with capacity-building measures, which will result in economic and social empowerment.