Gramvikash
Access to Services Award by Bihar Innovation Forum-II awarded to Gram Vikas on 31st January 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...

Networking/Cross Learning

Networking, Cross Learning and Building Collaborations
Gram Vikas recognizes that capacity-building programs increase the village committees’ ability to effectively handle responsibilities vital for long-term institutional sustainability. Thus efforts in capacity building span across diverse age groups including children in schools, youth, women and men.

Building Capacity
Mobilizing Resources

Advocacy and Lobbying
It has been observed that policies made for the betterment of common people seldom reach the people for whom it matters in a manner where they can make use of the policy. Information usually trickles down and gets distorted when it reaches the people at the grassroots. Gram Vikas, therefore, invests time to build awareness within the local community regarding their rights and entitlements provided by the government, facilitates people to access those rights and also put up grievances when their entitlements are not met with. In the last year we have facilitated awareness building efforts on the following topics:

Water and Sanitation
Consumer Awareness on Electricity
Forest Rights
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
Right to Information and RTI Clinics

 

Building Capacity
Gram Vikas works to strengthen village committees by providing them with trainings, workshops and practical support. Capacity building includes gender sensitisation, education on health issues, trainings on Panchayat Raj Institutions, public speaking and leadership skills development. Often, exposure visits in neighbouring villages are organized in order to reinforce the principles of MANTRA: inclusion, sustainability, cost sharing and social and gender equity.

Read more.......
Photo gallery

 

 

Mobilizing Resources
The MANTRA approach believes in building true collaborations by emphasizing on community contribution. In addition MANTRA also empowers communities to leverage financial resources from diverse sources. Village committee members learn the ropes of leveraging funds from their elected representatives and prevalent government schemes.

Successful implementation of MANTRA programme is contingent upon each and every family within a village contributing an average of Rs. 1,000 towards a collective called the ‘corpus fund’. Poorer families can choose to pay less and instead contribute in other ways – by collecting raw materials or providing labour, as better-off families in the community cross-subsidize them. The village committee invests the corpus fund in a local bank. The interest generated is used by the village executive committee to subsidize the construction of future toilets and bathrooms as the community expands, ensuring 100 percent sanitation coverage at all times.

 

 

Water and Sanitation
Gram Vikas(GV) are a rural development organization working with poor and marginalized rural communities in orissa since 1979. In water and sanitation, Gram Vikas have identified an entry point activity, which addresses the issue of sanitation, and thereby water-borne diseases. Simultaneously, it makes 100% inclusion a pre-requisite, not only ensuring the entire community benefits, regardless of case, class and gender, but also ensuring the effectiveness of the programme; as even if one member of the community continues to defecate in the open, and wash in common water sources, the helath of everybody will be adversely affected. GV believe that for sanitation programmes to be truly effective, 100% inclusion is a necessity.

In addition to working in partnership with communities to enable every household in a village to have their own private toilet and bathing room, GV construct a water supply system, ensuring every household has a 24 hour supply of piped water to their home via three taps; one to the toilet, one to the bathing room and one to the kitchen. Wherever possible gravity flow water supply systems are used, overcoming the difficulty of having to pump water where there are no eleftricity connections, or having to pay expensive electricity bills for pumpting water.

A large problem Gram Vikas and the communities regularly face is the disparity between rural and urban areas, especially in terms of government policy.

Read More….

 

 

Consumer Awareness on Electricity
Electricity is a basic amenity. With rapid electrification process underway, rural areas are increasingly getting connected to the grid. However, the reliability and quality of electricity supply and services greatly influence the ability of a rural community to improve the quality of life and productivity. In association with

PRAYAS, a Pune based organisation working on energy, Gram Vikas has been actively promoting consumer awareness, complaint and compensation procedures, while facilitating the communication of communities with distribution companies. By organising workshops where officials from distribution companies as well as Odisha Electricity Regulatory Authority were present, people were given a chance to express their grievances that were, often, promptly handled in these forums. At the consumer level people were made aware of energy saving devices and practices, motivated to pay the bills regularly and avoid illegal activities like tampering with the meter or taking unauthorised connections.

At the institutional level Gram Vikas has been lobbying to change the present situation where community-based water supply systems are charged a tariff applicable to public institutions. It is unjust to penalise rural communities by charging them a high tariff for consuming electricity to run drinking water supply systems managed by them. In such cases, Gram Vikas advocates for a different tariff and hopes that the state government will respond positively.

Read more ......

 

 

Forest Rights
In 2008, Gram Vikas took an active role in the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) that recognizes the right of tribals and other forest dwellers to own up to four hectares of forest land (per family) for agricultural use. Having worked with tribal communities for over three decades, we saw this as a unique opportunity for tribal people to own certain amount of forest land legally. Gram Vikas has assisted 133 tribal villages in filing nearly 3,000 land claims. During this year 1227 claims out of these were settled by the government.

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is a government program that guarantees a certain amount of employment for rural populations. Gram Vikas acts as an NREGS liaison working with government departments to assist in the registration process and distribution of job cards among villagers, supervise technical plans and financial estimates for work projects, supervise on site work and guarantee timely and correct payment to workers, as well as conduct social audits.

 

 

Right to Information and RTI Clinics
Since the enactment of the Right To Information Act in Orissa in 2005 , Gram Vikas has been encouraging the community to use RTI as an instrument to make government officials accountable. Gram Vikas is part of the Orissa State RTI Coalition and operates RTI Clinics. RTI clinics assist the community in filing applications, liaison with government officials on the progress of RTI applications, organize training for community and disseminate collected information to the public. The RTI coalition is a formal body with its own secretariat, composed of members from NGO’s, the media and public authorities.

Gram Vikas has conducted zonewise training of PRI members and community leaders in Ganjam, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts. RTI clinics have been established in 4 panchayats and trained four RTI master trainer and 14 RTI volunteers. In the current year a total of 217 applications have been filed and 73 responses have been received.

Posters and Pamphlets on RTI
Case Studies