CCD set up North India office in 2008 to replicate its community owned business model for community development. It is operating in 4 states. With Oxfam small grants support, it conductaed nationwide campaign for climate change justice & disaster preparedness. UNDP funded CCD project to develop medicinal plants strategy for Chhattisgarh in 2012 & Commonwealth Socially Responsive Grants (CSGR) funded agri-NTFP-market development small grants projects in M. P. & Orissa states in 2011 & 12. Global Green Grants (GGF) funded alternate agriculture development small grants project in Vidarbha, Maharashtra.
Unemployment, Hunger, malnutrition, high infant & child mortality prevails in central India hilly & forested tracts. Majority of the people are poor, illiterate, landless tribal/ small farmers (who also are forest product gatherers, as hunting is banned) & survive on earning much below 1 $ daily.

Lack of value addition to the forest produce they collect & exploitation by trader’s results in poor wages & lack of power to purchase food or medicine. Agriculture is ill developed, only dry land & unproductive, non-remunerative. Disease burden is high & erodes little earning the family has. The Human Development Index (HDI) is low, about 0.361, similar to some African nations. The work areas are:-
i) Sheopur district, M.P. state – Saharia tribe
ii) Amravati district, Maharashtra state –suicide hit cotton farmers
iii) Balangir district, Orissa state – Sabar tribe
iv) Kanker district, Chhattisgarh state- Gond & Halba tribes.

CCD has already started poverty alleviation work in these 3 sites since 2008 & has built local beneficiary groups but needs to strengthen the programs outlined here.

Most people here are below poverty line (BPL) as indicated above & literacy is below 10%. They own 1-2 acre land or none & service on forest product collection & sell to traders at poor price in winter. They work on other people’s farms in monsoon & immigrate to local towns for petty job in the summer. Water is scarce & sanitation is poor. Unhygienic conditions cause ill-health. Anemia, malaria & waterborne diseases (WBD) like diarrhea, hepatitis, typhoid, elephantiasis etc. are common & drain 30-50% of their income. Clinics are faraway & costly. Malaria & anemia affect 20% & 40% of population respectively, causing high child (90) & maternal (3) mortality. Many work days are lost in treatment & transport is costly & difficult. Women are the worst sufferers. Hunger & malnutrition is a curse as about 60-70% mothers & children being anemic. About 58% of the children are found under-weight in Sheopur, 2.6% of them being severely so. Mothers are often married in adolescence & are also anemic, in the primitive tribal groups (PTG) dwelling here like the Sahariya tribal community. Corruption & lethargy haunt in government inaction. CCD has organized women & farmers groups (10 each) of about 125 total members each at each site its inception in these 3 areas in 2008, totaling 750 families.
CCD started community enterprises for health & agriculture here to reduce poverty by over 50%, improver maternal health & empower the women, thus helping the nation to attain the millennium development goals (MDG).

Poor outreach of the government’s scheme is a problem. For instance, potable drinking water availability here is just 6-40 LPCD (liter per day per capita) as against national goal of 70! About 10% of the habitations lack safe drinking water access, while in many others it is just availed on the paper. Sheopur district has just 166 beds available in district with population of 0.56 million, 40% of the being BPL (below poverty line) of US $ 1 daily income. Budgets of Integrated child development scheme (ICDS) are just 25% of the need. Thus, schemes like mid day meal to school children or employment guarantee hardly reach 50%.

Simple measures like clean drinking water by filtering & boiling it can reduce the WBD by 55 to 70%, which also needs hygienic habitations & sanitation. Reducing the kitchen smoke by replacing firewood with improved woodstoves can also reduce the burden of the respiratory diseases like T.B. (tuberculosis). Education also reduces the disease prevalence much with simple habits like hand-washing.
a) Value addition – non timber forest products (NTFP) will be graded & powdered for collective sales in nearby towns/ cities as medicines/ food supplements, with higher income to reduce resource harvest & conserve environment. This has created 50 employments locally at 3 sites each.
b) Agriculture Improvements – Tree cotton planting lasts many years & avoids annual cost of replanting & farming. It yield short fiber used in rough clothes used for mats, curtains etc. Bestseller Co. of Denmark is buying if from CCD trained farmers in home state of Tamilnadu in South India & there is supply shortage, so central Indian produce is in demand. The farming will be done using low cost organic methods & certified using low cost participatory guarantee system (PGS). This is vital to save the suicide hit farmers of Amaravati district & Balangir district where farmers high farming costs of cotton unviable due to rising chemical cost & failure of BT-cotton to contain pest attack resulting in poor yield & income. This has created 150 employments/ better incomes locally & 450 in total.
c) Kitchen health gardens (KHG) – About 10 herbal plant remedies listed below will be grown in kitchen gardens using wash water known in tradition as medicines

Two of the kitchen garden plants- Tulsi (Occimum sanctum) & Harsingar (Nyctanthes arbortristis)- are found effective cure for malaria- dreaded globally, in CCD’s health camp where thousands of people got its decoction with jaggery. This will reduce disease burden, deaths & improve productivity of 5,000 families.
In 2010, it was won by fisherwomen’s federation named Samudram in Orissa state coast, that CCD promoted