Rilum Foundation for Sustainable Development

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The Rilum foundation for Sustainable development was established on the 2nd of October in the year 2000 and was registered under the Society Registration Act of 1983 [ RSCED- 785/01 of 2001]on the 1st of May, 2001. We got our I.T exemption u/s 12A in 2004 and registered under the Foreign Contribution [Regulation] Act, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in 2009.

We work for the socio-economic improvement of rural communities in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya by maintaining a special focus on youth, women, children and the disabled. We coordinate the formation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), which run small farming and non farming, income generating activities etc. In addition, our researchers keep abreast of governmental policy and aid initiatives and impart the obtained knowledge to our partners. Our field executives promote awareness of the 2005 Right to Information Act, through which villagers can learn of government aid that has been set aside for their localities and villages.

In the year 2007, we began working for the MLA scheme wherein they tried to check whether the funds of the Government were allocated in a proper manner while also tracking its utilization. In the years 2000 to 2007, we also started working for several community development programs whereby we started forming Self Help Groups and Community Based Organizations. We continue with these activities mentioned above till date. From 2004, we also began to involve ourselves more rigorously in various Rights-based Activities such as the Right to Information Act, by spreading awareness among the community.

Organization Summary

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Rilum Foundation ( established in 2000 ) is a grassroots organization working for the socio economic improvement of rural communities in the East Khasi Hills and the West Khasi Hills Districts in the state of Meghalaya.


Our mission is to address the issues, concerns and challenges of the community by adapting a participatory approach thereby strengthening the Community Base Institutions, Youth Organizations and Traditional Institutions.


The Foundation maintains a special focus on the youth, children ,women and physically challenged sections of the society and we accordingly organize, initiate & implement projects for the empowerment of these groups.


We are based out of Smit village, Shillong - 793015 & we are registered under the Indian Society Registration Act of 1983; the Income Tax Act of 1961, sections 12 A and 80G and with the Home Ministry under FCR(A)1976.

Our Values

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Rilum Foundation seeks to act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold. They would do their work with honesty and be consistent with their work.

Dignity of Work

They expect to treat all the work with respect and maintain dignity of labour as all work is dignified. The team members would work hard in their given tasks by giving their best.


Rilum foundation expects its members to respect each other irrespective of gender and religious practices.


Rilum wants to promote the concept of “go green”. Here, they wish to be more responsible to the environment through their work.


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The Save River Campaign

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Problem Statement

River Um-Iew is one of the most important rivers in the East Khasi Hills district of meghalaya. It is the main source of drinking water for thousands of households in Shillong as well as the villages in the upstream area. The Dam which supplies drinking water to Shillong was built on this river ( The Greater Shillong Water Supply). Of late, there have been a number of problems cropping up in the upstream area.
  • The number of households in the villages increases and the Army cantonment increases manifold, and along with them, pollution. Many households in the villages still use open pit latrine or flush straight to the drain, which in rainy season will be carried away.
  • The construction boom in Shillong causes a lot of misery for the people upstream. A large stretch of river is gone and siltation has gone up. This has diminished a major portion of the fauna and aqua life forms along the river.
  • Over exploitation of the river by the nearby habitants also adds to the pollution of the river. All kind of solid and liquid wastes are dumped in the river
  • Vehicles are cleaned directly in the river.
  • All domestic waste are dumped into the river.

Aim of Project

  • Building and Strengthening the Save River Campaign movement starting with the river Um-Iew by involving the traditional chiefs & the village councils at one level and the Youth clubs, the Women's Society & the Church at another level.
  • To advocate and lobby with the Government and other stake holders to regulate sand mining along the river.
  • To advocate for the strong protection of catchment area.
  • Fostering an awareness of water as a scare resources and its conservation as an important principle.
  • Looking for ways and mean to initiate the PES ( Pay for Environment Services) approach


Villages : Mylliem Um-Iew, Nongkrem, Umphrup, Smit, Umtngew, Um-iew Maw –U- Sam, Thangsning, Laitlyngkot, Umtngar, Mylliem Bah.
East Khasi hills District of Meghalaya

Action Plan

  • Advocacy /Lobbying Programme
  • Workshop & seminar
  • Building and strengthening the Save river Campaign
  • Organising meetings with various Primary and Secondary stake holders of the community.

Environmental Impact

  • Through this initiative sand mining will be regulate by the traditional chief and by the government. Moreover the involvement of the community in the whole movement will ensure that siltation along the river will not take place.
  • Through the movement the traditional chief & the village headman will pass a decree asking all house hold not to release the human waste to the near by stream but to dig a pit or make a septic tank.

Social Impact

  • The movement will bring together community from various villages for a cause.
  • This movement will have a rippling effect and soon many villages or group will start the same.
  • The river will regain its lost glory.

Institutional Impact

Through this intervention, it will help to institutionalize the campaign body and to set up its own Secretariat.

Technical Impact

A lot of new technology will be adopted in the course of implementing this programme. This might be from the supporting agency, the govt., line dept and other resource partners around.

Approximate Project Duration

24 Months

Livelihood enhancement of Women SHGs

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Project Summary

Livelihood enhancement of 200 women SHGs through piggery in 18 villages of Mawkynrew & Mawryngkneng block, East Khasi hills district Meghalaya.

Project Goals

Livelihood enhancement of 200 women SHGs through piggery promotion in 20 villages of Mawkynrew & Mawryngkneng block over 36 months period.


  • To enhance the income of 200 women SHGs member over a period of 36 months by way of introducing good quality pig breeds. (Hampshire)
  • To build and strengthen piglet bank of good breed pigs in the area.
  • To fine out the diseases which affect pigs in the area with close coordination with ICAR, NEH, Animal Health division.
  • To train 10 barefoot paramedic (vet) to liaison with ICAR for speedy veterinary care.
  • To network, lobby with ICAR, Animal Health Division and other government departments for smooth convergence of various programmes.
  • Enhance financial security of 200 women SHGs members.

Project Duration

3 Years

Project Rationale

The economy of the Mawryngkneng & Mawkynrew Block largely depends upon agriculture. Socio economic condition therefore is based upon agricultural production. Yet, in the past year, due to environmental degradation the productivity has gone down. Poor and far marketing system also results in lessening the income of the poor and ultimately unable to sustain their livelihood. The project proposed is to improve the economy of the poor people by providing the opportunity to engage in income generating activity. From the pilot survey, it is also found that the targeted area is suitable for piggery farming and it is also the interest of the SHG’s member’s to engage in this specific activity. Piggery is one of the viable means to intervene and enhance the economy of the poor and ultimately in sustaining their livelihood.

Livestock Project

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Project Summary

Livestock has been the main source of sustenance of a major percentage of farmers in the area. However the way they practice livestock rearing is still very primitive. While working on livestock the organization gives greater focus on Pig , Goat and Poultry livestock.

Project Objectives

The organization has worked out an intensive collaboration with ICAR, Research Complex, Umiam and the efforts have paid off. ICAR(Animal Health Division) under Dr. Arnab Sen has been assisting us in Animal health and nutrition.

With an aim to enhance the livelihood of the pig farmers, the organization is concentrating on the following areas.
  • Provision of good breeds (As per a government report, 88 % of farmers rear non-descript local breeds.
  • Scientific design in the construction of the pig sty since traditionally, the pig shed is damp and leads to improper flowing of water in which they set hay and grass thus leading to the stagnant water being fermented and mixed with the dung causing numerous diseases within the area.
  • Production of local feed. As of now they only feed on agricultural waste, which is not conducive for the pigs' growth.

Project Progress

To achieve the above aims, the the organization has organized a series of training programs on livestock management in collaboration with ICAR, Umiam.
Rilum foundation is also promoting Country Chicken as a mean of livelihood sustenance. Country chicken is in very high demand in the market. Good care, medication and improved feeding system has been introduced.


Rilum Foundation has initiated a semi-intensive goatary programme. The Good Hope SHG was selected and a loan was sanctioned under SGSY and they bought 100 goats.

However due to lack of technical knowledge the initiative was not successful and the group had to sell all the goats at a loss.

-Rilum Foundation realised that such an initiative should not have been taken on a large scale.
-It should have implemented the project with existing experienced farmers.

Nevertheless, ICAR came forward to assist us in this goatary initiative too.

Food Processing Project

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Project Summary

The organization is engaging itself in a big way in the Food Processing sector. There are a number of groups and individuals who engage themselves in food processing as an alternative to their primary field of sustenance. These groups engage in activities such as making pickles, juice etc. and sell them within their village or in neighboring villages.

The organization identifies such groups and individuals and facilitates them in marketing their products at Smit market while also selling these products within the office itself. The organization also organized a programme for these groups and individuals by imparting knowledge on standard food processing practices. Through the program, the participants were taught about the different items in food processing such as pickles, juice, jams, bakery items, etc. They were also enlightened about the different schemes available on food processing and also the procedures of obtaining loans to increase their production quality & quantity.

The organization conducted a six week programme on Entrepreneurship Development Program on Food Processing in collaboration with Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmedabad. The participants on this program were drawn from all the blocks of East Khasi Hills District which consists 33 of them. The training program was very much beneficial to all the participants as the resource persons were also drawn from many different department i.e. banks, NGO’s, Food and Nutrition Board, MIDC, KVIB, etc. Besides theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge was also taught to the participants to gain better understanding and inculcate better practical lesson. The participants were taught how to prepare different types of jams, pickles, juice and various bakery items. It has also been observed that quite a number of the participants have already been practiced some of the methods of preparing a specific items and also selling them in the village itself in a small scale. This shows the impact of the program and with proper assistance rendered to these participants it will definitely increase their economic status and sustain their livelihood

Apiary Project

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Project Objective

Building and Strengthening Indigenous bee-keeping practices in 30 villages of Mawkynrew Block.

Project Summary

Rilum Foundation has been working on Bee Keeping since 2004. However it has not been able to expand due to the fact that most local bee keepers are not interested in the modern bee boxes inspite of sending them for bee keeping training to RRTC, Umran. On observing the lukewarm response to this initiative, Rilum Foundation initiated an interface programme with the bee keepers of 10 villages of Mawkynrew block whereupon we gathered feedback from the participants. While there have been a lot of initiatives by the Government to promote bee keeping as a viable micro enterprise, it has however failed to take off.

Hardly 1-2% of the bee keepers use the modern boxes. Rilum foundation has documented all what the present bee keepers have shared and has initiated a process in 10 villages of Mawkynrew Block of East Khasi Hills with an aim to improve their bee keeping process. These areas are situated on the Southern slopes of the Meghalaya plateau, facing the plains of Bangladesh. None of the project areas are accessible by road. However, these areas grow a lot of horticultural product like banana, pineapple, betel leaves, coffee, papayas among others.

Rilum foundation understands that Apiculture is a powerful way of tackling poverty at the grassroot level. It is looking to establish fifty hives as a platform for the training and adoption of beekeeping practice in the 10 villages which falls under Mawkynrew Block. Moreover, Rilum foundation plans to expand it to 30 villages in the next 4 years ie 2014-2018.

The Single Mother Project

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Project Summary

The awareness program cum discussion on single motherhood was organized by Rilum Foundation for Sustainable Development. It has been observed that there are many single parents within the project area of the organization.

Few of the important points pointed out by the participants or the single mother programme were:
  • How single motherhood affects the children when it comes to proper schooling/education and also health related matters. It has also been shared that improper schooling also leads to teenage pregnancy, which is another important reason to single parenting.
  • The single parent becomes dependant on loans from money lenders, family, relatives, friends, etc to provide their basic need for their children
  • Due to single parenting, females engage themselves in daily wages with an amount of jus 120/- to 150/- per day which is hardly enough for their daily needs thus leading to insufficient food and clothing for the children.
After further discussion with the participants, it has been decided that a unit of all the single parents needed to be formed so as to give them a common platform to come together as one to improve their condition.

Since this is the first meeting, the sole purpose was just to get a indication of the problems and obstacles that they are facing. The organization is striving forward to conduct more meetings with other single parents in different areas and locations in the coming six months and once the organization has achieved its goal of uniting all single parents from within the project area, a huge gathering will be organized by the organization in which it will collaborate with the women’s commission and few respective people from the law department, in which a ‘unit’ for these single parents will be formed in order to fight for their rights whereby, the organization will guide them in activities such as registration with the courts for their maintenance. This unit will also serve as a warning for people who take advantage of women in this way.

Featured Mission(Self Help Groups)

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About the Mission One of the prime areas of focus for our organization is the building, strengthening and nurturing of Self Help Groups within villages.

It is a very challenging task, working with SHGs on livelihood promotion since indigenous people are not very keen in dealing with financial matters with people outside their close families.

Success of SHGs among the tribal community in United Khasi Jaintia Hills district is minimal other than the groups formed among close family members.

Nevertheless our organization takes an initiative in livelihood promotion through SHGs because of various other reasons.

The reasons are as follows
  1. Providing better access to credit from Banks and other financial institutions
  2. Improve organization through training and regular follow ups on the groups and their members
  3. Group pressure Motivation among members
Nos. of SHGs formed: As mentioned earlier, it is challenging to form, develop and nurture SHG among the tribal people. In the place where we are operating, such groups exist, but just to avail government schemes, which are available in plenty, However when everything is finished, the groups also die a natural death. The organisation has initiated and nurtured more than 100 SHGs, but only 40 survive. The organization has been able to develop, nurture and retain only 40 SHGs as of march 2014. Blocks covered: Mawrynkneng and Mawkynrew block of East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya.
Total members: The organization has a total strength of 426 self help group members.
Group bank accounts: The organization has been able to facilitate the opening of bank accounts for each and every group.

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