India is comprised of 28 states. MYRADA works in three, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. MYRADA is drawn to the state borders. Transport, agricultural development, sustainable water, education and health programmes spread out from each capital, but only so far. MYRADA works in the places where the tentacles of infrastructure don’t reach.

These are rural areas. Some of the women we talked to got ahead by buying a unit of sheep, a male and four females, purchased with loans taken from the Self-help Affinity Group. They had used the profit, the ensuing lambs sold at market, to repay their debt to their group.

Each state partners with civil society organisations like MYRADA to extend its reach. The effective organisations recognise the natural capability of citizens to make more of life. When it works the citizens are building the infrastructure, physical assets like water retention schemes, and social assets like better education for their children.