AMS leads to marriage proposal!

Meet Raju (pictured here in the centre), a young man of  23 years old living with his parents in one of the many villages on the outskirts of Kolkata. Raju’s father has been farming a small plot of leased land all his adult life and his two sons grew up helping him too, but, as the costs of farming increased year on year and his yield decreased, it became a struggle to earn enough to provide for the whole family. Gradually he fell more and more into debt, resorting to taking loans from expensive and unscrupulous money-lenders.  Seeing no future in farming, Raju’s brother moved to Kolkata in search of work and has not been home since.  Raju began to think this was the only option left to him as well and, together with a friend, he booked a train ticket to Chennai, a city over 1,000 miles from home.  At this point, Raju and his father found out about our programme,  Agri-management Services, and they both attended a community meeting in the village hosted by our field team.  We introduced the programme and explained how our farming techniques and services could make their farming business profitable again by reducing their input costs and increasing their yields. Raju was reluctant to join, especially as he now had his train ticket to Chennai in his pocket.  Our LSP managed to persuade him to stay for at least one more crop cycle to prove that AMS would works and would bring the results to turn their farming business around.  Raju stayed and they completed our training programme.  At the end of that season they made a profit of Rs. 10,000 (about £114).  Raju and his father were delighted, reporting they had never made this much profit in their whole life.

Raju now says that cancelling the train ticket and joining our AMS programme was the best decision he had ever taken in his life. He is now leasing an additional plot of land and, alongside his father,  is growing crops based on our training and guidance. They have already repaid the money-lender and so now their income can be used to care for the family. Raju told his friends who moved to the city about our programme and how well he is doing back in the village. Three of his friends have come home and they too have joined our AMS programme.  To add to his success, Raju is now seen as a very eligible bachelor and is receiving many proposals of marriage!


Meet some of our farmers



Kalyani is 30 and married with two children aged 8 and 10 years. She started her poultry enterprise with Shivia in May 2015 and since then…



Kamala is 36 and has three children, one of whom has a brain tumour. Her husband is a daily-wage labourer and prior to her poultry enterprise…



Akina is 50 and is married with seven daughters. She and her husband Hajrat used to work as agricultural labourers, earning about £1 each per…



Nishikanta is 45 and he registered for AMS in June 2014. He has a small plot of land, part of which he leases to another…

  • I have witnessed first-hand how Shivia has not just changed but transformed people's lives with its livelihood programmes.
    Yasmine Hilton
    Chairman of Shivia
  • Alquity supports Shivia because they transform lives by giving people the opportunity to do things themselves and they do it with dignity.
    Suresh Mistry
    Director, Alquity
  • We were thrilled to see the impact of the work being done and to meet the team on the ground. It was truly humbling to see the difference being made to so many people by this group of highly motivated and capable people.
    Stewart Brown
    Director, Artemis Investment Management LLP
  • We are excited to support such a strategically-minded and professionally run charity that is making a real and sustainable difference. The focus and design of the livelihood programmes are simple and highly effective – and the results speak for themselves.
    Lars-eric Roden
    Director, The T&J Meyer Foundation
  • Farming is my only source of income... I registered with Shivia to learn how to reduce my farming expenses and produce better quality outputs. I am definitely seeing good results compared to previous years and have learned how to make bio-pesticides.
    AMS farmer
    Familia location West Bengal

some of our supporters