Gramvikash
Mr. Shubhasis Pattnaik has taken over as Executive Director of Gram Vikas with effect from 1st May 2014.  
titlepointNews & Events
titlepointMANTRA - Experiences of Gram Vikas

“Our village is better than the town. We have 24*7 piped water supply to all families, without exception. Every family has their own toilet and bathing room as well. When we seek marriage alliances, our daughters ask us – ‘ would there ...
Read More...

LEI & Renewable Energy

LIVELIHOOD ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE(LEI) AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Gram Vikas’ argues that basic disaster-proof shelter, access to clean water, sanitation and electricity is an entitlement for the rural communities as much as it is for urban city dwellers that enjoy subsidized infrastructure. People need permanent, disaster proof housing with access to water supply, sanitation and lighting - more so the poor, who have neither the resources nor the belief that they too can own and live in such houses. Gram Vikas proposes a paradigm shift from the conventional approach to shelter, to a model which is replicable and sustainable, and can cover a large number of poor people for whom permanent and disaster proof shelter is but a distant dream.

Gram Vikas’ paradigm involves Habitat development as a critical tool in Poverty Alleviation and bringing dignity into the lives of poor rural communities. Gram Vikas plays a critical role in the technical and financial bridge, since many of these families may not fit into the bankers' definition of being credit-worthy.

Under its program area of Livelihood enabling infrastructure, Gram Vikas focuses on enhancing access to individual disaster proof shelter as well as community infrastructure in the form of schools, water supply systems, and electricity supply either through the grid or from alternative sources of energy..

Gram Vikas has also been actively implementing community-based energy programmes using bio diesel, biogas, micro-hydro, smokeless chullas and solar photovoltaic applications to provide rural households with renewable energy.

Housing
Biogas
Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln
Gravity Flow Water Supply
Smokeless Chullahs
Solar Applications
Micro-Hydro projects
Village Level Biodiesel

 

 

Housing
Through the Gram Vikas housing programme (since 1985) loan funds are extended to poor people for building disaster proof houses (~45 sq.m.), with a view to improving living conditions in villages. Over 3,500 families have been supported by Gram Vikas. Simultaneously skill development in building materials and technologies through mason trainings as well as other related livelihoods, are promoted to diversify local options for productive economic activities.

Read more…
Photo gallery

 

 

Biogas
Gram Vikas began working in the field of biogas in 1986. By the time it withdrew in 1995-96, Gram Vikas had installed over 54,000 biogas plants in nearly 6000 villages covering 13 districts. Over 80 percent of these plants were constructed during 1986-92, the most active period of Gram Vikas’involvement with the peak of 11,767 plants being achieved in 1989-90.

The predominantly tribal districts of Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi and Sambalpur witnessed the highest installation of GV’s biogas plants. Over 90 percent of the plants were of 2 and 3 cubic meter capacity. In terms of overall achievement, the numbers make Gram Vikas the single largest organization under the National Project on Biogas Development (NPBD). This distinction was made possible due to the creation of a workforce of nearly 2000 masons and technicians and their development through conducting of over 700 training programs.

Read more.....
Photo gallery

 

 

Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln
The Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) is a cost-effective, energy efficient and environment friendly way of brick production. The VSBK technology originated in China and was brought to India in the late 90's with support of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and Development Alternatives. Gram Vikas promotes the VSBK as a viable rural industry especially for traditional brick moulding communities, who typically work as migrant labourers. Gram Vikas concentrates on promoting community VSBKs where feasible, rather than private VSBKs, keeping in line with the priority to work with poor and marginalized communities.

Read more…
Photo gallery

 

 

Gravity Flow Water Supply
The majority of tribal communities that Gram Vikas’ works with are un-electrified. To bring 24-hours of piped water supply to un-electrified villages, water from perennial springs are harnessed and diverted through pipelines, from as far as five-six kilometres. Principles of gravity flow and siphoning are used to traverse over small hills to ultimately reach a storage tank in the village and from there, to individual homes.

Gravity flow design for water-supply systems requires zero operating energy making the project financially attractive and easy to maintain. The combined benefits make this innovative system the most inexpensive and sustainable choice for water-supply systems, when a perennial source of water is available at an elevation higher than the habitations.

Read more .......
Photo Gallery…

 

 

Smokeless Chullahs
Gram Vikas is collaborating with the Centre for Micro Finance, Chennai and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston in an action research project to study the health impacts of reduced indoor air pollution as a result of the smokeless cook stoves.

The smokeless chullah (stove) programme covers all operational households of Gram Vikas. The programme incorporates the Gram Vikas chullah design: a double-pot, mud stove design that was the result of extensive research coupled with existing chullah design modifications. The design uses locally made mud pipes, employing local potters for construction and generating community income

For implementation, Gram Vikas uses a local entrepreneurship approach that ensures quality construction that can easily be scaled up. Local youth and women’s self-help groups are trained to promote and construct the stoves. Each household pays the promoter who constructs the stove. Gram Vikas gives a monetary incentive to the promoter to guarantee each chullah for at least 3 years. Over the course of 3 years, the chullah user will have learned maintenance methods from the chullah promoter.

Read more ......
Photo gallery

 

 

Solar Applications
The Gram Vikas solar lighting system focuses on providing individual households in remote villages that lack electricity with low-cost energy efficient solar-powered lamps, eliminating use of kerosene for lighting up homes. Additionally, Gram Vikas' tribal residential schools in areas without electricity are lighted using solar lanterns with Compact Fluorescent Lamps. Six solar powered water purification system and four solar water-heating systems have also been installed in residential schools.

The CFL lamps are now increasingly being substituted by the more energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Families are encouraged to procure the lights on loans to be repaid in small instalments. Local youth are trained to take care of minor repair work as needed.

Gram Vikas is collaborating with Thrive in Andhra Pradesh, Schneider Electric, New Delhi and 3Ace Associates, Bhubaneshwar.

Gram Vikas has also undertaken community based Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) systems for village lighting and water supply. Four villages have been provided electricity and piped water supply through such systems.

In collaboration with Ekistica Pvt. Ltd Australia, GramVikas is implementing a solar powered village electrification project in a village in Kalahandi district. Following a participatory energy planning and budgeting exercise each household was given an opportunity to plan their energy needs and work out the tariff they would have to pay. The SPV systems have been installed and power supply to the households has also been commissioned..

Photo gallery

 


Micro-hydro Projects
Gram Vikas promotes micro hydro as a cost-effective option for decentralized rural electrification by building the capacity of local village youths and technicians to design, fabricate and manage community or regional micro-hydro systems.

Gram Vikas has implemented four community-based micro hydro projects in the villages of Kalahandi district. The community plays a crucial role in the success of the system, using a management committee to organise in-kind labour, a corpus fund, and tariff collection to sustain the system. Young people from the community have been trained to operate and maintain the system. A monthly tariff of Rs.30 per household pays the salary of the locally appointed and trained technician and other maintenance costs. Initially being used for lighting, the goal is to gradually incorporate electricity-based livelihood activities.

Crucial lessons have been learnt for improving the technical and social aspects of implementation. Gram Vikas will continue to pilot micro hydro applications, with the aim of establishing effective design standards and social processes to ensure low cost, easy-to-use, and preventive maintenance.

Gram Vikas is working in partnership with Practical Action South Asia (formerly Intermediate Technology Development Group - ITDG) and Engineers Without Borders (USA) to scale-up the micro hydro projects from pilot to programme-level implementation.

Read more…
Photo gallery

 


Village Level Biodiesel
In collaboration with CTx GreEn, a Canadian not for profit organization, Gram Vikas has, pioneered a pedal powered village level, local-production-for-local-use biodiesel model.

Biodiesel is produced using oil pressed from locally available underutilized seeds. The biodiesel can be used directly in all regular diesel engines. This model of Village Level Biodiesel, VLB, is unique in promoting local production of biodiesel for local use. It has revived the use of oil cake, a byproduct from oil seed pressing, as an organic fertilizer. Glycerine, another byproduct of biodiesel production has been successfully converted into soap. Biodiesel produced in this manner is currently being used for diverse agricultural activities like ploughing, irrigation and threshing through a multi-purpose tiller. A biodiesel fuelled tiller is also being used to run an oil-expelling unit in the Tumba cluster of Ganjam district, encouraging women in the region to value-add and sell oil and oilcake instead of individuals selling seeds to outside traders.

The VLB Model
Scaling out of the VLB
Read more…
Photo gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The VLB Model
Using seed money from the World Bank Development Marketplace (DM2003), four sets of production machines have been installed to date, two in the pilot plant in Mohuda on the Gram Vikas Campus and two in villages. The Mohuda Pilot Plant services the neighboring villages and also functions as a resource centre for analysis and quality control of biodiesel, processing of new oils into biodiesel, conducting feasibility assessments and providing training. Three financing options are being explored for the village level biodiesel model: (1) micro finance loans (2) bank loans and (3) grants from external agency for the initial investment that will become a revolving fund. In all cases, a certain minimum investment from the entrepreneurs is also foreseen. A purely entrepreneurial model of inter-linked businesses, farmers’ cooperatives and women’s self-help groups is being promoted. Strengthening of SHGs is an important precursor as they play a very important role in local buying of seeds and selling of oil.

Village Level Biodiesel
Scaling out of the VLB
Read more…
Photo gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Scaling out of the VLB
The biodiesel project has advanced beyond its initial focus of serving up as an addition to the renewable energy tool kit for water and sanitation program into an integrated livelihood service. Technical feasibility is now proven and the ability of local institutions to sustain the venture is being strengthened as a critical step to replication. In the period 2008-2010 four stakeholder workshops have been held with government officials and other policymakers, to remove hurdles to replication. Scaling out activities are being proposed in the State of Odisha and other parts of India with organizations interested in promoting an integrated approach that includes sustainable agriculture, local value addition and biodiesel fuelled livelihoods through the Village Level Biodiesel, VLB, a local production for local use model.

Read more…
Photo gallery