Sustainable Livelihood

Sustainable Livelihood

Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.

Anne Wilson Schaef

Today in India, some 96 million elders are working simply to survive, and 53 million live below the poverty line (PPP $1.90 per person per day according to the World Bank). The Indian economy is characterized by the existence of a vast informal or unorganized labor sector. Millions of rural elderly people are a part of this sector and have low and often seasonal incomes and despite years of hard labor and toil, have no social security net or access to a monthly pension, medical coverage etc.

HelpAge India believes that these elderly people need to be acknowledged as active contributing members to the Indian economy and society and not a dependent group. Therefore, enabling conditions in families and communities need to be created to facilitate active ageing and provide elders with adequate and appropriate opportunities to become a useful resource.

Elderly Elder Self-Help Groups
95,584 7415


To enhance elder capacities, HelpAge India mobilizes elders through the formation of Elder-Self-Help-Groups (ESHGs) that are centered on sustainable methods of livelihood. These ESHGs are then federated into higher level community institutions so that they have greater institutional strength. This model of HelpAge India has been adopted by the Ministry of Rural Development within the Government of India and HelpAge has been designated as the National Resource Organization for elderly by the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

HelpAge supports 7,415 groups with 95,584 elderly people across 16 states in India, helping elders regain their dignity.

These livelihood projects focus on social inclusion, financial inclusion, health inclusion and rights and entitlements. Digital Inclusion is also becoming prominent . Formation of ESHGs has helped spur the establishment of individual and collective enterprises such as production units of spices, mushrooms, handicrafts, food processing units, handlooms, horticulture, organic cultivation through vermicomposting, liquid organic manure, waste decomposer and Grain Banks.



  • 43 $ (3192 INR) – To support a poor elderly for 4 years for livelihood inclusion.