About UPAJ

With a vision to alleviate ultra-poverty, the Jharkhand State Livelihoods Promotion Society (JSLPS) aims to implement a special project: Targeting “Ultra- Poor” through Graduation Approach (UPAJ) in four blocks of three districts integrated into community institutions promoted by DAY-NRLM.

The Graduation Approach will be adapted to Jharkhand’s context. The focus will be on bottom-up interventions including giving grants, productive assets, and household level handholding and linking to markets before they can reach a minimum threshold to benefit from existing market opportunities and government schemes, gain greater voice and autonomy in their households and communities and be on an onward journey to improve their life.

Under the special project around 4000 ultra poor families from four blocks will be identified using specific criteria to be part of the project for a period of three years and graduate out of ultra poverty. The PVTG and Ultra Poor Development Domain of JSLPS will be the nodal domain to implement this project. In partnership with The/Nudge Institute (formerly known as The/Nudge Foundation).

The Challenge

Jharkhand is India’s second most impoverished state in India, one among the three worst-performing states, along with Bihar and Assam, in this year’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index released by NITI Aayog in June 2021. In terms of hunger reduction, the state fared at the bottom of all 28 states.

Jharkhand experiences multiple vulnerabilities due to the presence of diversified social groups, regional disparities, unequal distribution of resources among various caste groups, frequent occurrence of natural calamities, geography and issues like left-wing extremism. The deprivation is particularly visible among single-women-headed households, those women who are widowed or destitute, elderly members of the community with no able-bodied members in their immediate family, people with disabilities, socially marginalised categories such as PVTG, ST and SC, landless households which are dependant on seasonal/distress migration for sustained income. Suffice to say, there are many pockets in Jharkhand where multiple deprivations intersect to create ultra poor communities.

Jharkhand is home to more than 500,000 households living in ultra-poverty. The challenges of these families go beyond ensuring 2 meals a day. Not only are they food insecure but also not have productive assets like land or livestock. They are socially excluded, financially excluded, do not have access to predictable labour and income, nor are they able to access health, government or community support programs.

Living on less then 2 meals a day

Little or no land or productive assest

Socially withdrawn & excluded from communities

Tied to availability of unpredictable wage labour

Littile savings(speed 80% of income on food)

Annual household income less than INR 25000

Living on less than INR 32 per day

Average family size of 7-8 members

Who are Ultra Poor?

As per the World Bank, The extreme poor live on less than $1.90/day (783 million people world wide) ‘the ultra poor’ are the lowest earning and most vulnerable subset of this population globally. The ultra poor is defined as a group of people who eat below 80% of their energy requirements despite spending at least 80% of income on food & inability to meet even the barest of basic needs.


Targeting “ultra poor” through Graduation Approach integrated into community institutions promoted by DAY-NRLM to enable them to graduate out of ultra-poverty.


To enable 4000 ultra poor families in 4 blocks of 3 districts to graduate out of ultra poverty in 36 months’ time period .

  • To make the ultra poor self-reliant and resilient, facilitating social inclusion, social development, social protection (social security) and promotion of two diversified sustainable sources of income generation to enable them to graduate out of ultra-poverty .

To feed the learnings into the development of the National Strategy for targeting the ultra poor through the Graduation Approach.