Capacity Building & Demonstration
GVT views capacity building as, that everything has to be started at ground zero. This should not always be the case since groups or individual have capacities inherited through culture, socialization or experiences or acquired through education or training. This is particularly true of communities which have time tested indigenous coping capacities. Capacity development builds on existing capacities and further enhances them according to the needs.
GVT's long experience of working with the marginalized communities has taught, that strong local communities depend on infrastructure and services such as adequate roads, telephone, health services and transport. They also need enthusiastic and motivated people, community organisations that work well, a long term ‘vision’ for the community and a strong focus on practical action to achieve the vision.
Keys to success are:
- Having local people who are willing to ‘drive’ action
- Developing ‘allies’ — people or organisations that can help
- Using the existing assets of the community
- Having a small visible success within six months
- Having access to some resources
The component of capacity building finds its place in almost all the projects that GVT has undertaken till date like watershed projects, WADI, agricultural research projects, health projects etc. The importance of capacity building lies in the fact that it makes the projects sustainable after the life cycle of the project is completed. For all the projects which GVT implements, it follows a specific withdrawal strategy. It builds the capacity of the beneficiaries so that after it withdraws from the project, the benefit continues to flow to the beneficiaries for whom the project was implemented. GVT follows a bottom up participatory approach; hence it makes sure that during implementation the community gets involved in the implementation process so that in the process their capacities are so built to sustain the project even after the completion.
GVT organizes various awareness campaigns, training programmes and exposure visits during the project cycle for the rural beneficiaries of the programmes. It regularly conducts various training programmes of the state government officials and their agencies at its National Livelihood Resource Institute (NLRI), Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Godda in Jharkhand. It has partnered with Ministry of Panchayati Raj for preparation of perspective plans and annual plans for 22 districts in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. GVT acts as the Technical Support Institution TSI, to the Panchayat functionaries.
Since the day of its inception, GVT has been working tirelessly with the village Panchayats by implementing various centrally and state sponsored schemes. It has been working closely with the Panchayat functionaries on various issues related to the upliftment of the marginalized communities. Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been a longstanding partner of GVT and has awarded several assignments which have been implemented in GVT’s operational areas. In 2000-10, MoPR identified GVT as the Gateway Agency for facilitation of the Rural Business Hub, RBH in Ranchi and Deoghar districts of Jharkhand and Birbhum district of West Bengal, in order to identify the local products/skills that hold good business potential and mobilizing convergence of different schemes and institutions that hold the key inputs for setting up RBHs through Private – Public – Panchayat partnership. GVT under its leadership has implemented two RBH projects on Decentralized Power Generation and making of Bamboo Based Craft Items in the district of Ranchi.
The Decentralized Power Generation project envisaged providing with alternative source of energy through locally available Karanj seeds especially in the villages that were not electrified. The project also generated additional employment for the rural people through their involvement in procuring, processing and expelling of oil from the Karanj seeds and also in the process of power generation and distribution. The project covered 10 villages and 4 Panchayats in two blocks of Ranchi.
The Bamboo Craft project envisaged the livelihood promotion of the rural poor through promotion of viable business proposition. Promotion of traditional bamboo crafts with technical and marketing support of GVT was scaled up in the rural areas of Jharkhand with the integrated efforts of government organizations, NGOs and private players. The project was implemented successfully on a pilot scale in Dahu village in the district of Ranchi.
In partnership with MoPR and under the scheme Rastriya Gram Swaraj Yojna (RGSY) GVT has implemented two capacity building projects for the Elected Panchayat Representatives (EPRs). The project was implemented in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh and in Baran district of Rajasthan. In Ratlam district, a total of 1150 Elected Panchayati Representatives (EPRs) were trained through 65 training programme and 872 (EPRs) were trained in Baran district of Rajasthan.
GVT has been also selected as the Technical Support Institution TSI (2011-16) to provide handholding support to the panchayat functionaries to prepare the annual plans and integrated perspective plans. GVT has been identified as the TSI in 22 districts of five states namely: Madhya Pradesh (5 districts), Rajasthan (4 districts), Bihar (5 districts), Jharkhand (4 districts) and West Bengal (4 districts). The Perspective Plan includes year-wise and plan-unit wise prioritized list of works and resource envelope. GVT has also undertaken several impact assessment studies; verification studies etc under the scheme PEAIS from Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
Gramin Vikas Trust had implemented two flagship Rainfed Farming Projects in Western India and Eastern India titled as Western India Rainfed Farming Project (WIRFP) and Eastern India Rainfed Farming Project (EIRFP). WIRFP was implemented in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. EIRFP was implemented in Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Both the projects were completed by early 2006.
During the project implementation period, GVT had been focusing its activities for the sustainable enhancement livelihoods for the rural poor through farm and non-farm activities. Multi-sectoral approaches with holistic interventions were implemented with the participation of communities. Communities were organized into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and the groups were empowered to plan and implement the programmes. The groups were able to access the project funds based on their actual needs and plans and the beneficiaries were identified by the group members. Need based activities, costs, time-line and the beneficiaries were approved by the resolution in the Self-help groups, then the funds were accessed and utilized by the self-help group members. A basket full choices were provided to the groups members to plan the programmes on crops, water harvesting/soil harvesting measures, horticulture, village orchards, Goatry, Poultry, bee-keeping etc. Besides, non-farm activities and other enterprise activities such as grocery shops, vegetable vending, cycle-repairing, tent-houses, Oil expellers, Flour mills, Hand-printing/Block printing work as alternate livelihood activities for the landless rural poor families. The groups have played a catalytic role in promoting enterprises at the grassroots levels.
An appreciable number of SHGs were formed in the project areas. SHGs could generate an appreciable amount of savings, and the total Group Fund Generated through different enterprise activities were in crores. The funds were likely to go up since the spurn over for credit and group fund was on the increasing trend. More than 50% SHGs were linked with Bank/ Financial Institutions for credit tie-up.
In the post DFID period, GVT has started building institutions in its activity areas comprising agriculture, natural resource management including watershed development, agro-forestry, skill development etc.
Presently, GVT has been implementing 23 Homestead Farming Projects in the name of WADI funded by NABARD. These projects addresses sustainable livelihood of the marginal farmers by generating supplement income through horticulture, improved agriculture and vegetable gardening in home gardens, resulted increasing per unit productivity of backyard space.
Institution building is also a necessary component in WADI projects. WADI projects cover 500 to 1000 farmers’ family covering land area of around 1 acre per WADI. NABARD extends a loan component in every WADI project to roll out micro-finance activities under the scope of the project. GVT has planned to offer a generic credit product to the WADI families on the prescribed pattern of NABARD.
GVT sees Social Entrepreneurship as the process of bringing about social change on a major scale. Social entrepreneurs function as the agents of change, questioning the status, grabbing the new yet overlooked opportunities, and changing the world for the better. They recognize when a section of the society is stuck and offer innovative ways to break out of its stagnant state. They detect resources while others see problems. They consider the affected people as part of the solution and not as passive beneficiaries. GVT’s long association of working with the marginalized communities has made it to realize that social entrepreneurship is quietly revolutionizing the less privileged sections of India. Just as entrepreneurs change the face of the business, social entrepreneurs’ act as the change agents for the society, seizing the opportunities which others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for better.
A drive by GVT for initiating and promoting social entrepreneurship has been a rare and yet a very apt innovation in social sector, which could be a feather in the cap for espousing farmers’ cause in the most business savvy way. There are a large number of intelligent people in rural areas having good business sense and understanding of the local dynamics, but are unable to scale up their activities due to insufficient capital and their inability to take benefits of existing funding schemes of government and funding agencies like NABARD. Therefore, by promoting social entrepreneurship, GVT is not attempting to do something that has not been done before; government and NABARD like agencies already have such schemes for promoting entrepreneurship. What GVT aims to innovate is to tap the right persons, involve farmers and identify successful business models by aligning interests of all stakeholders in such a way that their gains are directly related to success of the project.
GVT promotes social entrepreneurship in the manner suggested above by identifying farm and non-farm activities having the potential of being converted into business opportunities, which could be scaled up and transferred over geographies to involve maximum number of farmers. GVT then identifies local partners, group of farmers and people with matching capabilities to run and manage such initiatives. These partners are not being paid salaries or allowances. Instead, they get a share in the revenue or profit generated through the initiative matching with their contribution. GVT initially introduces a seed capital needed to run the business. All the other partners also either contribute some capital or are obliged to contribute to the initiative in kind; in the form of time, labour or other forms of resources like land and building. A right person with a right idea or business model, who may be willing to run an initiative by committing himself and his time to the initiative, could be made a partner for his contribution by way of sweat equity. This way, the stakeholders gain only when the business does well. In such initiatives, benefits from existing government and funding agencies’ schemes are taken, wherever possible.
GVT has undertaken a couple of initiatives in this regard in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In Patna (Bihar) it has initiated the CART concept whereby several farmers with an interest and drive towards undertaking business activities are provided with a cycle cart on which they carry fresh vegetables and fruits from the nearby villages to the city for selling them off. The investment towards buying of these cycle carts has been made by GVT. Seeing this pilot experiment, others in the same vicinity have formed groups to supply fresh vegetables and fruits to these entrepreneurs who are also from the same villages. The proceeds from the sell are being currently invested for producing more and buying high yielding variety and better quality seeds. In a way this pilot initiative has created an interest among the nearby villagers to go for better quality and fresh vegetable and fruit cultivation. Since the fresh fruits and vegetables are directly bought from the farmers and in some cases it is being directly sold by the farmers on the carts supplied by GVT, the price of these fruits and vegetables remains relatively cheaper than those sold at mandis through the middleman. GVT aims to replicate this model in its other geographically operational areas as well.
Another similar initiative which has been undertaken on a pilot scale at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the production and marketing of fresh vegetables. GVT has taken a piece of land in the KRIBHCO Shyam Fertilizers (KSFL) compound to produce vegetables using the latest technologies and high yielding variety seeds. It has made arrangements with mandis in Shahjahanpur & Delhi and with Bigbazar in Sonipat and Mother dairy at Mangalpuri in Delhi. GVT is building the capacities of the farmers in and around the district of Shahjahanpur and persuading them to use bio-fertilizers and better high yielding seeds for producing organic vegetables. In the process it is also forming groups of farmers and linking them to financial institutions.