Gram Vikas started working in the field of Energy in 1986 in the form of Biogas program. Through the program, we installed over 54,000 biogas plants in nearly 6000 villages covering 13 districts. In terms of overall achievement, the numbers make GV 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. This experience is significant in the context of the overall paradigm shift that occurred in rural development, the enterprise model that has been the outcome of this initiative was a pointer to the institutional approaches required for sustainable rural energy development.
Gram Vikas also promoted the Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) as a viable rural industry, especially in traditional brick molding communities, who typically work as migrant laborers. We have also been promoting clean cook stoves. Through this program, Gram Vikas helps thousands of villagers to organize themselves to solve a wide range of social and health problems. With the help of various collaborations we have undertaken community based Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) systems for village lighting and water supply. Many villages have been provided with electricity and piped water supply through such systems all over Odisha.
We also promote 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 five community-based micro hydro projects in the villages of Kalahandi district.
Gram Vikas has implemented Village Level Biodiesel (VLB). VLB comprises a package of village-scale technologies to extract oil from locally available oil seeds, and to refine oil, ethanol and biodiesel. A purely entrepreneurial model of interlinked 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.