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Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) was established by GoAP as a sensitive support structure to facilitate poverty reduction in the state. SERP has been instrumental in rural poverty eradication in the state of Andhra Pradesh for the last twelve years through IKP (Indira Kranthi Patham) – a state-wide community driven project. Its main objective is to enable the rural poor in the state, to improve their livelihoods and quality of life and to follow them up till they come out of poverty. The core strategies followed are social mobilization and building institutions of the poor, enhancing their capacities and opportunities and reducing vulnerability.

Under IKP, poor women in rural areas are organized into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and their federations. Today, IKP has facilitated the formation of over 6.5lakh SHGs now covering 65lakh women in the state. Many thematic components namely Land Access, Gender, Sustainable Agriculture, Community Marketing, Health & Nutrition, Education, Insurance Services etc. were piloted and gradually expanded over the years in addition to the core areas of social mobilization, institution building and credit linkage.

All the successes notwithstanding, the bottom-most strata among the poor have remained untouched and failed to enter the bandwagon of rural development in the State. They are the Poorest of Poor (PoP) to whom the development interventions either did not reach or they lacked the required capacities/abilities to access the interventions. These households are usually characterized by high dependency ratios, low educational attainment, low physical resources including landlessness or ownership of poor quality land, have minimal to nil assets and/or high debts, are primarily dependent on casual labour, are unable to meet their basic needs and more often than not belong to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities.

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