Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS); Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Contact: Dr. Prakash Tyagi
September 2017 –September 2020
Budget: Total, Rs.17,95,000; 2019, Rs.5,89,750
This is a multi-faceted 3-year project to improve agricultural practices and community development in 5 villages in a drought-prone area of Uttar Pradesh, by methods developed by GRAVIS through their work in Rajasthan. GRAVIS has helped villagers establish kitchen gardens around their houses to provide better nutrition at less cost, and other villagers are now adopting the practice on their own. Improvements to farmlands, begun in the first year and continuing now, include construction of khadins (earthen dikes) around the borders of fields to conserve water and soil, fencing of fields to keep animals out, and establishment of agri-horticulture units where fruits and grains can be grown together. A pond dug in one village has filled with water and is enabling 16 low-caste families to cultivate previously unused land. Other developments include establishment of seed banks and composting pits. All of these activities have measurably improved villagers’ lives; for example, construction of khadins has doubled crop production in the beneficiaries’ fields. On the organizational and educational side, GRAVIS has conducted training sessions on nutrition and water quality, and they are fostering Village Development Committees and women’s Self-Help Groups to enable the villagers to take charge of their own affairs more effectively and extend the reach of the beneficial effects of the project.