Hello, we are the GEN

That's the Grassroots Empowerment Network..



Who We Are

GEN is a UK based charity that works in India to alleviate poverty.

We work in close partnership with an Indian grass-roots organisation, END POVERTY, which we helped establish in 2009.  Since then, they have built a programme of literacy, income generation for women, and support for farmers with agricultural and horticultural improvements, including upgrading their dairying practices and a wide range of rural and village development activities.

With GEN’s help, END POVERTY delivers project initiatives in collaboration with those village groups which are most-in-need.

GEN works with communities to support and empower individuals and groups to identify their community goals. We then help them to achieve them.

Sue Burke  Former Chair, GEN Initiative

Learn More
ACC Mithiyawas with Vimla, Rani, Surender Kaur in action…

Our Work

We, through our partners at END POVERTY, are focused on a group of villages in the Tijara Block of Alwar District, Rajasthan. The community is mainly engaged in agriculture and dairy with 40% living below the poverty line and needing education, skills and income support.

More about END Poverty

END POVERTY is an NGO launched by theGEN, and all of our work is done in collaboration with them.


Headed by Vinod Kaushik, they aim to improve the quality of life in rural areas by focusing on creating self-sustaining development programmes which maximise social impact. These programmes are centred around improving agriculture and horticulture, in addition to village development as a whole. Schemes to empower women and girls alike have also become a focal point in recent times

Learn more about END Poverty at their website.

We support the community through the following methods... Click on the icons below to learn more!

GEN in Figures…

the number of impoverished villages we have reached.

All rely on small scale agriculture and lack many basic services.


Saved by Members

26 Women’s self help groups have been formed since the start of 2017. This has meant a significant reduction in the use of high-interest money lenders to meet urgent family requirements

Village Development Groups (VDGs) have been created.

VDGs are our model for bottom-up development and have made huge local impact by encouraging villager action and self help.

Seamstresses have been trained.

80 of the most active operate in 10 Centres and plans are in place to help them with creating an independent producer company.

Unschooled teenage girls have been reached so far.

This is through a 1 year informal education programme for adolescents who have left school, providing functional reading, writing, numeracy, health and nutrition, art, sport, horticulture and sewing skills, plus confidence building.

Fruit trees distributed

1500 small scale farmers have been able to create small orchards to diversify their cropping practices, making better use of their land.


  • 2016 – We hit a milestone – Alwar Education Department now certifies our informal learning to level 2 of primary, giving girls the option to join formal education or some other form of learning.
  • Village Development Groups and other village initiatives have achieved new toilet blocks, better roads, more water pumps, safety fencing for wells as well as a range of farming improvement initiatives.
  • Girls literacy has increased their self-confidence and respect in the community with life changing impacts that include, contributing to life on family farms and discovering systematic underpayments for milk and successfully claiming refunds.
  • The teachers who provided literacy have become respected leaders in their communities.
  • Income from livelihood activities has enabled families to send their children to school and to tackle family health problems.

Recent Updates…

2nd May 2021

Sue Burke’s Retirement as Chair

Sue has just retired as Chair of GEN (as of April 2021) but will continue as a trustee. In her place, the trustees have chosen Bet Tickner as the new…
16th February 2021

Our Field Work in Rajahstan

Our Field Work in Rajahstan A glimmer of hope for GEN and its partners working in the rural areas of Rajahstan today. The Guardian (16th Feb) reported that coronavirus cases…

Our Social Media…

Our Trustees

Bet Tickner

Bet is currently chair of GEN and says: I like to do something creative - beading, dressmaking, knitting. I love craft fairs and handmade, individual goods and textiles. I buy Fair Trade goods wherever possible. This is the source of my interest in and commitment to GEN-End Poverty , to help promote their handicrafts project, which works to provide a source of income and employment, and thus empowerment, for village women.

Sue Burke

A founding member of GEN and chair from 2003 to 2021 but linked with India since the 1980s. I worked with the the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Indian Family Planning Association on 'population education'. I worked with the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Subsequently with the Commonwealth Secretariat I focused on effective community based projects that make a difference.

Andrew Picken

I joined Gen because I have spent a career working in international development including four very enjoyable years in India and fourteen in Asia. I have managed large and small scale development projects that have made a real difference to people's lives, particular those involving educational systems and livelihood development.

Anthony Charlwood

I gained an interest in the development of India from several decades of business travel to the country. I became acutely aware that the rising prosperity of the middle class was leaving great swathes of the population behind in poverty. GEN is working to help the Meo community get out of the poverty trap by empowering them to develop their skills and education.

Shailendra Vyakarnam

Dr Vyakarnam is Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield. He has mentored entrepreneurs and held non-executive directorships of small firms in addition to developing growth programmes for SMEs over several years. From 2003 to 2015 he developed practitioner-led education for entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge Judge Business

Sunetra Puri

I was born and brought up in India. Hence, I have great interest in the work of GEN. To GEN I offer my long experience of working on development issues including women's health and rights, capacity building, communications and advocacy. I gained my experience and expertise working at International Planned Parenthood Federation, The World Bank and other development agencies.

We would also like to recognise John McCormick, Eric Arnold & Colin Marsh as key contributors to our work in their roles as associates. None of our trustees, associates nor volunteers are paid and we have no staff.

Supporters of GEN

We are grateful for our major supporters who have donated funds in the last 3 years, we use all of these funds to directly support END POVERTY's work in India

Miss KM Harbinson Trust

Open Gate Trust

Open Gate Trust

The Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST)

The Saga Charitable Trust

CB and HH Taylor 1984 Trust

The Funding Network

The WF Southall Trust

The Waterloo Foundation

Join the Mailing List