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2017 - 2018


We are driven by our commitment to equity and dignity for all.

We are driven by our commitment to equity and dignity for all.

Gram Vikas has been involved in the infrastructure building - construction of toilets, bathing rooms and potable piped water supply systems for over 20 years. Most of the villages we work in lack physical, electrical and electronic connectivity. Yet, our field workers turn out excellent results. I congratulate them and wish them a lot of happiness. We are very proud of our cooperation with the Odisha Government. I thank my colleagues in Gram Vikas for the exemplary efforts that they have put in to further the cause of Gram Vikas.

Joe Madiath


I am honoured to present the 39th Annual report of Gram Vikas. The Governing Board of Gram Vikas handed me the responsibility of being the Executive Director in October 2017. I have inherited the leadership of an organisation built through the untiring efforts these men and women. Many of them have spent the best part of their lives committed to building an equitable and sustainable society where everyone lives with peace and dignity. As of March 2018, Gram Vikas has worked with more than 560,000 persons in 110,000 households in 1686 villages in Odisha and Jharkhand.

Liby T Johnson

Executive Director

Read the messages from the Chairman & Executive Director

In the past year, we stayed true to our mission to enable critical masses of the poor and marginalised rural communities to achieve a dignified quality of life. We worked on water supply and sanitation systems for villages and schools, strengthened the teaching-learning systems in the tribal residential schools, partnered with the government to sustain the post-disaster resettlement efforts, and used technology to improve rural infrastructure and livelihoods.

We reached 35,507 households in 377 villages through our diverse areas of work.

Our interventions are guided by our Movement and Action Network for Transformation of Rural Areas (MANTRA) approach. It initiates sustainable development processes in villages with water and sanitation as the entry point. Built around the core values of 100% inclusion of individuals and households in the village, MANTRA enables complete ownership and cost-sharing by the community, social and gender equality, and sustainability. This ensures that the benefits are shared equally among all irrespective of sex, caste, creed or economic status.


26,056 people to get water, toilets and bathing rooms.

Community institutions, infrastructure development and behaviour change form the core of our work in water and sanitation. Every household gets two or three taps, twin-pit pour-flush toilets, and bathing rooms (TBR) through the infrastructure and institutional systems established by Gram Vikas. A Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) owns, manages and maintains the water and sanitation (WATSAN) systems.


86 villages have work initiated/in progress

  • 21 villages completed TBR construction
  • 34 villages have water supply systems commissioned
  • 26,506 people in 5274 households to benefit on completion of all the work

17 VSWCs formed and registered

₹5.3 million corpus fund collected



Gumla, Ramgarh


Gajapati, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh


Livingstone Gamango realises his clean water dream

“Gram Vikas has changed my gram (village). I was dreaming of building just toilets, but thanks to Gram Vikas, bathrooms came as a bonus along with water in the toilet, bathing room and kitchen – safe drinking water at that!”

Livingstone Gamango, 48 years, a farmer and a social worker, always wanted a toilet near his house. He is from the Dantarinala village of Mohana block in Gajapati district, where many generations live together as joint families in most households. Gamango could not afford a toilet but this did not stop him from motivating others to build and use one. But, he had a hard time convincing people as they often asked him not to preach what he did not practice.

One day, when he visited a village in the neighbouring block, Gamango saw the water and sanitation work of Gram Vikas. He spoke to the staff to understand the process. He proposed similar work in his small village of Saura tribe with 15 households and 70 people. But for Gram Vikas, provisioning of piped water infrastructure such as a water source, erecting a water tank, laying the main pipeline, distribution pipeline etc., for just 15 families in a hillside settlement, was not a viable option.

“I had to pursue Gram Vikas for three long years and mobilise another village close to mine before they agreed to implement the sanitation and water supply project in my village,” says Gamango. Determined, he mobilised 10 families from the settlement Kapakhalla, near his village, for the project. Gram Vikas then set up a joint piped water supply system for both the villages. Today, all 25 households of the two villages have individual toilets and bathing rooms with around-the-clock water supply.

Gamango is proud, excited and hopeful, “All the villagers feel proud of the facilities, similar to those for the District Collector, in their own homes! Water running through the taps all 24 hours of the day is not a common sight in a village in Odisha”. Gamango’s wife is a member of the VWSC and the couple ensures that not a single person from their community defecates in the open. Gamango is all praise for Gram Vikas and eager to collaborate with them in the future for the benefit of his community.


3000 school children learn about hygiene and waste management, get water and toilets.

Gram Vikas promotes school sanitation infrastructure in addition to WaSH infrastructure access and behavioural change among rural communities. The Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) scheme, from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, provides a meaningful framework for the intended expansion in this area of work. Our work in school sanitation becomes a pathway to building sustainable hygiene practice adoption in the larger community.


36 schools get piped water supply systems

18 schools are setting up water supply systems

36 schools learn about sanitation through campaigns

100 schools have initiated work on establishing model sanitation units with access to piped water supply and hand washing facilities in schools



Angul, Nayagarh, Ganjam, Kalahandi


Sustainable energy technologies to light up houses and bring water.

We implement technologies that are community-based, renewable and energy efficient. Solar lighting units set up in six villages in Lanjigarh block of Kalahandi district will provide lighting solutions to 120 families unconnected to any electric infrastructure/grid. Twenty five solar powered pumps are making drinking water accessible for poor persons living in difficult and underdeveloped areas. A Hydrodoser, which is a simple-to-use non-electric chlorinator for water treatment, has been providing clean water to families in Lahanda Village, Joda block in Keonjhar district.


25 solar powered pumping sets installed

1 Hydrodoser installed



Kalahandi, Keonjhar


We’ve helped 16,568 families rebuild their lives after Cyclone Phailin.

In October 2013, Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha severely damaging shelter and livelihoods of around 12 million people. The Government of Odisha invited Gram Vikas to be the socio-technical partner, for the reconstruction of disaster-resilient houses, under the Odisha Disaster Recovery Project. From 2013 - ‘17, we helped rebuild the lives of 16,568 families in 175 villages through interventions in housing, water and sanitation, livelihoods, development of relocation sites and strengthening village institutions.


Transfer of technical knowledge for disaster resilient house construction

Supported community mobilisation and conflict resolution

Promoted alternate livelihoods by skilling people in masonry

Designed a Management Information System with information on beneficiaries, land allotment details, progress on land acquisition; construction; fund release and occupation status in the new settlements.

Site-wise habitation plans with provisions for basic infrastructure, civic amenities, and community facilities

Developed sewerage and waste management and plantation for aiding relocation.



Ganjam, Khorda


Digital technologies & STEAM education expose tribal students to new ways of teaching & learning.

Gram Vikas promotes four schools making affordable education possible for students, predominantly, from the tribal community. Since 2015, schools have computer labs with secure internet connectivity. Teachers and students have been introduced to the internet, educational apps, e-learning materials, and online tutorials. Special emphasis has also been placed on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) subjects. In the past year, 870 students and 34 teachers benefited from technology introduction.


100% of students from all four schools passed the Annual High School Certificate exam in 2017-’18

14 students admitted to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, special schools for gifted students by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India

28 classrooms became “smart classrooms’ with Overhead Projectors and fully technology-based teaching-learning processes

13 teachers trained on the preparation of e-lesson plans

13 teachers trained on the use of innovative teaching-learning materials for smart classrooms



Gajapati, Kalahandi


“Videos make it easy for us to remember what we learn!”

Kalahandi district in Odisha has a low average literacy rate of 59.22% with fewer literate women (46.68%) as compared to men (71.90%). The Gram Vikas Shiksha Niketan (GVSN) school is in Kumudabahal village in Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district, Odisha.

In 2015 – ‘16, the school got its first internet-enabled computer lab with support from Oracle. This changed the way students, most of them first-generation learners, learn. Introduction of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) allowed the students to explore possibilities beyond the syllabus. “The videos on addition-subtraction, place value, percentage, etc. get the slow learners interested in the subject and increase their curiosity, which otherwise would have taken longer if done using a blackboard,” says Sibaprasad Gauda, a Science and Mathematics teacher in the school.

In 2017-18, as part of the Oracle Virtual Classroom project, all 12 classrooms became ‘smart classrooms’ with desktop computers, overhead projectors and screens. Teachers now include videos and PowerPoint presentations in their lesson plans, thus not only making the teaching-learning process more interesting but also enhancing the learning curve of students. Siba Sir speaks about the change, “When the students watch a video on a science experiment before actually conducting it, they understand it better. Earlier, the teaching was mostly verbal, and it was not always possible to demonstrate concepts outside the classrooms. Now, with videos and photos, it is much easier to explain things to students.”

Teachers and students now use Microsoft Office Suite and multimedia facilities. Arabinda Swain, Headmaster of GVSN shares, “About 35-40% of the teaching-learning involves using the videos and presentations, and we ensure that all teachers make use of the facilities. Students, across grades, are encouraged to develop and present concepts using PowerPoint presentations.”

Students like Balram are excited and clear about the impact of ICT facilities on learning, “It is easier to remember something by watching a video rather than just reading about it,”.


Lives and livelihoods of 3432 families in 17 villages to benefit.

Gram Vikas initiated implementation of the Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) with the aim to ensure holistic and sustainable development of villages. Targeted programmes, including socio-technical measures, will specifically focus on education, health and sanitation; skill development, livelihoods enhancement and financial inclusion; and natural resource management.


130 solar street lights installed in seven villages

40 acres in 13 villages adopted for Improved Package of Practices for increased farm yields

1200 families developed kitchen gardens

75 adolescent girls trained in positive health behaviour and self-development

17 villages received awareness sessions on health & hygiene

1373 persons have their health checked through five health camps

Six schools have better libraries; 20 schools get sports materials and first aid kits

Three veterinary camps held





“What you see is a good harvest. What I see is success.”

Surendra’s face is full of joy as he looks at his Green Gram field and exclaims, “What you see is a good harvest. What I see is success, and success tastes sweeter when you have earned it.” He is one among the group of 19 farmers, who cultivated Green Gram in a quarter of an acre, during the Rabi (October-March) season, in Bhutadihi village of Nayagarh district in Odisha.

Surendra’s harvest was usually about 200 kilos per acre as against the government record of 140-160 kilos. Gram Vikas supported him to adopt the Improved Package of Practice (iPoP), a set of methods for productive and sustainable farming. With iPoP, the yield from his farm went above 240 kilos. Overall, the village has gained an average of 50% production with biomass production being 58% higher. Surendra shares proudly, “We were using up to 18 kilos of seed per acre, however, under iPoP, we now use only 4 kilos” and goes on to explain the process, “We treated the soil with neem oil cake, the seeds in rhizobium culture and then sowed the seeds in row with 10”x 8” spacing. Soil moisture was maintained with rainfall and little irrigation.”

This process has now been piloted in 13 villages with 152 farmers growing crops over 39 acres. The results surprised many in the area, as there has been an average increase of 29% in crop yield with 25% fewer inputs and an increase of 60% in biomass output.


Tribal communities access government schemes and resources.

Often, tribal communities due to their social, cultural, economic and geographic exclusion from the mainstream cannot access government resources and schemes. We work in close collaboration with the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) under the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Project (OTELP) to facilitate access to government initiatives by the excluded regions and population. Gram Vikas is the facilitating non-government organisation for five OTELP Projects.


40 hectare of land developed through watershed activities

60 hectare of Wasteland Agriculture Development Initiative (WADI) Plantation done in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA)

35 training and exposure visits conducted for more than 300 community members



Gajapati, Kalahandi


Women and men learn new skills to improve their incomes.

Gram Vikas has used skill building in the construction and renewable energy sector as a mechanism for improving the income-earning abilities of men and women in the villages of Odisha. Since 2000, we have trained approximately 4000 persons in masonry and more than 75% have seen their income increase in the range of ₹6000 - 50,000 per annum. Trained persons continue to work as masons and technicians even after the completion of the Gram Vikas projects. Many of them have enhanced their abilities and taken up the role of work contractors engaging more masons and creating more employment opportunities.


28 women trained as masons

  • Post-training, they have constructed toilets and bathing rooms under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

12 young men trained in installation, servicing and maintenance of solar electrification systems

Two women and two men trained as Hydrodoser Operators






Sanatan Darua can now put aside money for his motorbike

Sanatan Darua, aged 29, from Puruna Adhapada village in Jharsuguda district, used to earn ₹200 per day as an unskilled labourer. In 2016, he received masonry training conducted by Gram Vikas with support from the Odisha Power Generation Corporation. He was one of the 25 men from six villages who underwent the 90 days residential programme. The initiative aimed to create a cadre of skilled masons, who could help their villages construct toilets and bathing rooms, while also making them independent artisans earning better incomes.

Today, 20 persons from the batch are engaged in masonry work in different project villages. Each of them now makes ₹400 per day, which is a 75% increase from their earlier incomes. Surendra is thankful to Gram Vikas, “I thank Gram Vikas for making me a fully-trained mason. I am helping others build quality houses while earning extra income for myself.” He is also closer to his long-cherished dream of owning a motorbike as he is now able to save money for the purchase.

In 2019, we begin our fifth decade of building an equitable society.

Renewing our connect with the villages

Staying connected to the communities we serve is critical to sustaining the impact of our work. As we expanded across Odisha and other States, we lost contact with many villages where we worked in the past. Over the next few months, we are conducting ‘Status Assessment Surveys’ to reconnect and take stock of the village level systems that we supported to establish. An exercise with few parallels, trained volunteers will visit 70,000 households in 1170 villages to help us measure what we have done so far, and more importantly, what we can continue to do going forward.

Towards a future decade of strengthening and expansion

Going into the fifth decade, we will be guided by our mission to energise and strengthen critical masses of poor to bring about changes they desire to realise a life of dignity. Our efforts will focus on consolidating and sustaining the results achieved, and expanding work into new areas, particularly in Jharkhand and existing village clusters in Odisha.

Half a million people helped us be what we are today. Thanks are due to many.

Our gratitude to millions of people in villages across Odisha and Jharkhand, who partnered with us to build for themselves a life of dignity. Past and present staff members and volunteers strengthen our efforts to create change on the ground.

The support and guidance of the Governing Board, particularly our Chairman, Joe Madiath, has been invaluable. Our past CEO, Debiprasad Mishra, led us through a strenuous and critical period.

The Government of Odisha, philanthropic foundations, multilateral, bilateral and donor agencies, from across the globe, and corporate entities continue to repose their faith in Gram Vikas as a reliable collaborator and an effective implementation partner.

Academic and research institutions from different parts of the world work with us to advance their knowledge building agenda, and to provide a space of learning for students.