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Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (National Urban Livelihoods Mission)

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana

Since 1997, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has been running a scheme called Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), aimed at helping urban dwellers find employment. This initiative underwent a makeover in September 2013 and emerged as the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM). From September 24, 2013, NULM started operating in all district headquarters, regardless of their population size, as well as in cities with populations exceeding 1 lakh.

Introduction – Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana

  • In India, cities are becoming the main drivers of economic growth, contributing over 60% to the GDP. This shift is significant, indicating a trend towards urbanization and development.
  • According to the 2011 Census of India, the urban population has reached 377 million, marking a 31% increase since 2001. This rapid urbanization underscores the need for effective urban planning and management.
  • A staggering 92% of India’s total workforce operated in the informal economy in 2004-05, highlighting the prevalence of informal sector employment, especially in urban areas.
  • Many informal sector workers lack adequate education and skills, limiting their access to opportunities in emerging markets. This creates a cycle of poverty and vulnerability within urban communities.
  • Urban poor, often engaged in informal sector activities, face constant threats of eviction, lack of social security, and deprivation of basic rights. Their living conditions are marred by discrimination, insecurity, and lack of access to essential services.
  • Urban poverty appears in various dimensions, affecting people’s access to housing and basic services, their social standing based on factors like gender, age, and social class, and their job security, particularly for those reliant on the informal sector.
  • These vulnerabilities are intertwined, exacerbating the challenges faced by the urban poor.

Aims – Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana

  • Helping families in urban poverty find steady self-employment or better-paying jobs so they can improve their lives for the long term. This means giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed at the grassroots level.
  • Providing homes with basic services to those living on the streets of cities, gradually and in stages, to ensure everyone has a safe place to call their own.
  • Helping street vendors in cities means giving them good selling spots, helping them get loans, and keeping them safe so they can adjust to market changes and make a better living.

Guiding Principles

  • National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) believes that everyone, including those in poverty, has the potential to succeed and escape poverty. They just need the right support to unlock their talents and create sustainable livelihoods.
  • The first step for NULM is to encourage the urban poor to form their own groups and organizations. These groups need help to develop skills, access funding, and grow their businesses, which requires ongoing support and guidance.
  • NULM recognizes that for any poverty alleviation program to succeed, it must be driven by the people it aims to help. Strong community organizations empower the people with low-income to improve their lives and access opportunities.
  • According to the Constitution, local governments have a responsibility to address urban poverty. Therefore, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) must take the lead in implementing programs for the urban poor, including skills development and livelihood support.
  • NULM aims to reach all urban poor with opportunities for skill development and financial assistance. This includes training for jobs in the market and support for starting their own businesses.
  • Street vendors play a vital role in urban economies and in lifting people out of poverty. NULM seeks to help them by providing access to suitable spaces, loans, social security, and training to seize new market opportunities.
  • Homeless individuals in cities face immense challenges, yet they contribute to urban life with their labor. NULM plans to provide them with shelter and essential services gradually.
  • Collaboration is key for NULM. They aim to work closely with other government departments, state governments, and civil society organizations to ensure comprehensive support for the urban poor, including skills training, health care, and education.


The mission will espouse the following values:

    • Ownership and productive involvement of the urban poor and their institutions in all processes.
    • Transparency in programme design and implementation, including institution – building and capacity strengthening.
    • Accountability of government functionaries and the community.
    • Partnerships with industry and other stakeholders and
    • Community self-reliance, self-dependence, self-help and mutual-help


    NULM will adopt the following strategy:

      • Helping the urban poor and their organizations, along with program machinery, develop livelihoods and alleviate poverty through supportive guidance.
      • Enhancing and expanding existing livelihoods options of the urban poor.
      • Building skills to enable access to growing market-based job opportunities offered by emerging urban economies.
      • Training for and support to the establishment of micro-enterprises by the urban poor – self and group.
      • Ensure availability and access for the urban homeless population to permanent 24- hour shelters including the basic infrastructural facilities like water supply, sanitation, safety and security.
      • To build robust connections between our programs and ensure that urban homeless individuals have access to essential rights such as food, healthcare, and education, we aim to facilitate their access to various entitlements. This includes social security pensions, Public Distribution System (PDS), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), feeding programs, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, identity documentation, financial services, school enrollment, and affordable housing.


      The scheme has two component one for urban India and other for rural India:

        • The Urban component named as Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana will be implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
        • The rural component named as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana will be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development.

        Read also: Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

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