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For 5th time, Kerala wins Spark Award for exceptional implementation of NULM project

A training programme of Kudumbashree. Image Credit - Kudumbashree/Facebook

For the fifth consecutive time, Kerala has demonstrated its exceptional performance in effective implementation of Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) project.

In the latest Spark Ranking for the year 2021-22 by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Kerala has secured second position. This is the fifth time in a row that Kerala has received the Spark Award which carries a prize money of Rs 15 crore. Kudumbashree, the women’s self-help group in the state, is the nodal agency for implementing the NULM aimed at promoting sustainable livelihoods for the urban poor. The NULM is being executed by the Union Government in 29 states and eight union territories across the country.

Andhra Pradesh has secured the top rank this year, pushing Kerala to the second position from the first rank which it secured last year. As per a government statement, the award is given based on performance and progress against common criteria set for the timely completion of project objectives and activities.

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs collects information on the various parameters being followed by the state for implementation of NULM through its Management Information System (MIS). The parameters gauged for performance are formation of neighbourhood groups, training provided for self-employment and wage-based employment, timely utilisation of funds, submission of fund utilisation certificates, completion of audits, disbursement of revolving funds under the scheme, linkage loans and self-employment loans.

The latest data with the state government shows the NULM project is being implemented through Kudumbashree across all 93 municipalities since 2015. As a part of this, 24,893 neighbourhood groups were formed, and skill training was provided to 24,860 people, of which 21,576 received certificates. The initiative resulted in the creation of 13,736 job opportunities and the establishment of 5,704 individual enterprises and 1,187 group enterprises in the livelihood sector.

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