Works as a specialized support organization, fostering capacity, research, collaboration, and policy advocacy for Northeast India's development

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  • Headquarters

    Guwahatii, Assam

  • Since


The Centre for Microfinance & Livelihood (CML), initiated by the Tata Trusts in 2008, serves as a pivotal organization for capacity building, research Read more, collaborative projects, and policy advocacy in Northeast India's development sector. With a profound understanding of the region's unique challenges and opportunities, CML tailors its intervention strategies to be highly relevant, impactful, and enduring. CML's mission encompasses various domains, including training and capacity building, piloting livelihood initiatives, and compiling sector information for fostering connections and advocacy. Its work revolves around community empowerment and enhancing the quality of life in areas such as education, WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), livelihood, crafts, and sports in northeastern states like Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and parts of Meghalaya. Additionally, CML plays a significant role in Tata Trusts' extensive Cancer Care Project based in Assam. Through entrepreneurship development in fishing, horticulture, piggery, handloom, and handicrafts, CML has positively impacted the lives of over 100,000 beneficiaries. Building on its initial experience and feedback, CML embarked on its second phase, focusing on Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, and Linkages. This led to one of the largest capacity building programs for non-governmental organizations in India and several research studies under its Knowledge Management initiative.


The livelihood initiative has benefitted 3 States, 21 Districts, 458 villages, and 32385 beneficiaries. Orchard intensification has reached 1 Districts, 14 villages, and 730 beneficiaries in Assam. The flood resilience program has reached 2 Districts, 20 Villages, and benefitted 1500 beneficiaries. The education initiative has reached 2 states, 17 districts, 570 schools, and 21800 students.


  • Livelihood


    Approximately three-fourths of the Northeast's population relies on agriculture and related activities as their primary source of livelihood. Despite this heavy dependence, the agricultural sector's contribution to state incomes ranges from 50 to 55 percent, revealing a disparity. Agrarian communities in the region have shown limited adoption of improved farming techniques, facing challenges related to input quality, irrigation, disease and pest control, resulting in slow growth in production and productivity. Insufficient awareness, service access, and weak market connections have contributed to low incomes from the primary occupation. This intervention area aims to empower communities by enhancing household incomes and fostering entrepreneurial spirit. It does so by intervening in agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fishery, and handloom sectors, enhancing access and diversifying livelihood opportunities.

  • Orchard intensification


    The project's primary goal is to maximize the utilization of underutilized homestead land resources among tribal households in Boko Block, Kamrup District, Assam. Additionally, landless farmers receive support for livestock rearing. The project aims to significantly increase the average annual household income by Rs. 80k to Rs. 100k. Improved farming practices, including the cultivation of black pepper and multiple cropping with pineapple and Assam lemon, are promoted in the project. To address water availability issues, irrigation support is provided. The project also involves implementing goat farming with landless tribal farmers, along with infrastructure support and the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to consolidate results. Sustainability and scalability are central to the project's design.

  • Flood resilience

    The project aims to enhance the readiness of flood-affected communities for agricultural practices before and during floods. It also harnesses the existing skills of the community in fishery and weaving, ensuring food security and a stable income source during flood events. The project takes a comprehensive approach to prepare communities for the adverse effects of floods. It addresses issues like safe drinking water access, flood-proof sanitation and water facilities, secure shelter, and transportation during floods. Innovative agricultural practices, including drum-based high-value vegetable cultivation, Rabi vegetable cultivation, Boro paddy cultivation, irrigation support, pan fishery, weaving, and sericulture, are being piloted in the project. All project components aim to boost productivity, improve service access, and reduce vulnerability among flood-affected communities.

  • Antaran

    Antaran, a part of Tata Trusts' craft-based livelihoods program with a focus on handloom, seeks to retain weavers, especially the younger generation, in the industry. Its primary goal is to establish community-driven microenterprises encompassing all aspects of the value chain: pre-loom, on-loom, and post-loom activities. Each cluster aims to create 50 such micro-enterprises, each with 500 associate weavers. These enterprises will be fully owned by the weavers, and pre to post-loom service providers are expected to generate annual revenues of Rs 25 lakh. The financial aspects of the program in Assam are facilitated by CML.

  • Education

    This intervention commenced in July 2015 with the launch of its initial direct implementation program, aiming to enhance the academic performance of students in classes I to VIII. The goal was to help them attain grade-appropriate proficiency in English, Mathematics, and Science while increasing the number of students successfully passing the Madhyamik examination in Tripura. Over time, the program has extended its reach to Assam, where it focuses on reducing the dropout rate in primary schools. It also addresses the digital divide by promoting digital literacy, fostering a keen interest in learning, enhancing critical thinking skills, and improving teaching and learning methods in schools.

  • Sports

    Tata Trusts' Sports for Development Program is dedicated to discovering and nurturing football talent in the North-Eastern states of India. This football program primarily focuses on early interventions, working with children to impart physical, social, cognitive, and communication skills. The sports initiatives are designed to create an ecosystem that fosters opportunities and excellence in sports, enabling it to become a viable career path.
    The goals are threefold:
    1. Promote the vibrant sports culture for improved health and attitude.
    2. Engage disadvantaged children through early interventions in sports, life skills, and academics.
    3. Nurture talent and encourage aspirations for national recognition.

  • WASH

    Water quality is a great concern mainly due to inflow of the most polluted drains/rivers in the northeastern states. The level of pollution and contamination in some water bodies is high. Major contaminants found in water are Iron, Arsenic, Fluoride, Microbial contaminants.
    The Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant is a community-based drinking water purification system established in the Nalbari district of Assam. Its primary function is to remove iron and arsenic from the water supply. Each of these systems is capable of serving approximately 200-250 households. The community can effectively manage these systems with a minimal water tariff, ensuring their self-sustainability.
    Point of Use (POU) water purifiers, coupled with Social and Behaviour Change Communication, constitute a household-level and user-friendly water purification system designed to ensure access to safe drinking water.

Leadership Team

  • Ranjit Rabindranath Barthakur


  • Dharani Ratno




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  • Headquarters

    5th Floor, Divine Plaza, Dispur Super Market, G.S Road, Guwahati, Assam, Guwahatii, 781005

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Financial Details

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  • 2019-20

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  • 2020-21

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